On my long run this week, I went where I tend to go for long runs. It’s this really cool bike path which was paved on an old trolley line that ran between Mason City and Clear Lake. It’s a pretty straight shot, with only a couple turns needed before you’re on the open road. You run on one side of the road and a functioning train/trolley track on the other side. Unfortunately, you do need to cross that track to get onto that straight track to Clear Lake. On my way this time, I rounded a corner, heading to the crossing point, I found myself running next to a trolley hauling about ten cars to the ethanol plant on the way.
Now, I was planning on running an easier pace for about an hour and a half, taking it slow and easy. But what kind of runner would I be if I didn’t take this trolley as a challenge? I began to race the trolley, running substantially faster than planned, before it took off. But, then, what kind of runner would I be if I slowed down once I “lost”? So I kept to the faster pace as long as I could. Turned out, I could run that pace the whole time!
Point of this rambling anecdote? Had I not run into that trolley, I wouldn’t have shown myself what in was capable of. Sometimes, a run goes exactly as planned and sometimes you find opportunities to take risks and either succeed or fail. Life does the same thing, too. Sometimes, life goes exactly as planned while sometimes you find that it offers you more than that.
Don’t be afraid to chase the trolleys because, even if you don’t catch them, you’ll have the chance to are what you are capable of. It’s not always easy or successful and it almost certainly won’t go as planned, but I can guarantee that it’s more interesting when you do.