The name Anita brings to mind happy things:
- Like your Aunt Anita who always had fresh apple pie
- A cool summer breeze
- A childhood friend
- Or a long afternoon nap
Sadly Anita is none of those things. In reality it’s one of the most painful experiences you will ever go through.
As a runner most hills come on in one of two varieties
- Ones that are very steep but short (don’t take long to get over)
- Ones that are less steep but take a lot longer to conquer
Anita is one of the few hills that are both long AND steep, therefore in my opinion the name should be changed to:
“Oh my word my legs hurt SO MUCH and I feel like I’m gong to die! Seriously how long is this hill? I can’t believe I actually paid money to do this, and will never run ever again in my life…street”
Of course that wouldn’t fit on the sign
There are blessings with Anita however since it shows exactly who is in shape, and who isn’t (I’m not in shape by the way).
My training group is divided into smaller ones that each run a different speed or pace (some faster, some slower). Knowing that the Marathon training was going to be a big challenge, I decided to start running with a faster group.
After keeping up (more or less) with everyone else I was actually feeling really good about myself.
As my partners sprinted towards the finish I slowed down considerably…and then gave up and walked the rest of the way (making sure to hit the seven-mile mark before quitting). In that moment it was painfully clear my fitness level didn’t quite fit theirs yet.
There are experiences in life like Anita that reveal we aren’t as far along spiritually, physically, or emotionally as we thought. That’s okay though since they give us a healthy dose of reality.
In the past I would usually run with one of the slower groups since it made me feel good about myself. Trust me when I say there is no better feeling than pulling away from other group members in the last mile :-) During races however when facing runners who were stronger than me I deeply regretted not training harder.
It’s not always easy to admit your weakness (especially when everyone else in your group is a lot stronger) but you can do it with a smile on your face. Because a painful reality embraced now keeps you from having to admit it on race day.