What does it mean to be a Rugged Runner? Each person has their own story and their own unique ownership on what makes them a Rugged Runner. I think Coach Michele picked an apt name for her training program because we all are in some way Rugged. Life is not perfect, full of trials, heart-ache, and tribulations that test, weather, and shape us into who we are today. This process is never ending and how we respond in these times often becomes the result of how and who we emerge to be.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Rugged in several ways:
1. having a rough uneven surface
2. a. seamed with wrinkles and furrows; b. showing facial signs of strength
3. a. presenting a severe test of ability, stamina, or resolution; b. strongly built or constituted
4. a. rough and strong in character.
The Rugged Running website has this to say about being Rugged:
We all have our rough edges. We all have been or will have something happen or done to us that will test us. We all battle that little voice in our head that says, ‘”Am I enough”. Am I enough as a person, spouse, friend, parent, co-worker, athlete, runner….and the list goes on. At Rugged Running, we are here to say that YOU ARE ENOUGH! You are RUGGED! You have the ability and the stamina to achieve whatever goals or dreams you set out to run after! You are strongly built and can weather whatever storm this life throws at you!
Running is so much more than just running. For me it’s an on-going metaphor of life, of being Rugged. You start out your run or race on fresh legs with the day full of possibilities. At some point you encounter trials that will test you, push you, and eventually take you beyond what you had thought you were capable of doing. It’s these hard times of the run that break us, build us, toughen us, and spit us out physically and mentally a stronger human. And in life’s tough times it’s not to the easy runs that I look back on and draw strength but the hard ones. I think of the times in a race when I was at my lowest, but an inner strength and stubbornness took hold and I pushed through anyway. This is being Rugged and when life throws you a trial and shoves you down you can fight back, knowing that you’re Rugged, knowing what you’re capable of, and knowing you’ll be ok. Being Rugged isn’t easy, no one ever said it would be, just like running is rarely easy. But being Rugged is doing it anyway and pressing forward when it’s not so easy to move forward.
So, my dear friends whatever you’re facing today–know that you are Rugged and while the path may be jagged you are strong, your footing firm, and you will persevere. Also, know you are not alone. Coach also says this:
We are a community of rugged people, joining arms to become the best Rugged Runners we can be! We train smart under the guidance of professional coaches, work hard, and celebrate each other’s victories together.
We got you. Stand firm, push on, and be Rugged.