We all can agree that when we come face to face with true adversity it will unfailing reveal some measure of who and what we are. The world around us can quickly judge whether or not we strived hard or hid back some portion of our capacity but ultimately within we are the only true judge of whether or not we truly gave our all. Many if not most tasks that line up in our day to day existence do not demand examination.
Occasionally though some extraordinary opportunity arrives directly in front of our path that beggars nothing less than a full commitment of all our resources and every fiber of our being. Perhaps makes us even plum the very depths of our soul, in such a way, that does not just challenge us but also transforms the very dimensions of our consciousness. Bringing us ever so much closer to a summit that we all sooner or later must reach.
It is hard to imagine a singularly more difficult physical challenge than entering a multi day race. A place where the hunger for motivation and miles is relentless. Where our familiar mental companions, hesitation and doubt will team up with another adversary fatigue, and try and thwart and delay each new step forward on our journey. Where time itself can envelop you in a fog of indifference and our ultimate destination dissolves into temporary obscurity.
Today for a group of runners in Flushing Meadow, their 10 or 6 days of extreme adversity has come to a grateful conclusion. One measure of the true value of their experience is written in numbers beside their names on the mileage board. Yet ultimately the inner rewards, the most important ones, are sheltered in deep safe and sacred places within each one who tied on shoes and stepped forward beyond the starting line. A transformation has taken place that is possibly visible to others but one that can only be appreciated and treasured by the runner themselves, who heard the bell clang as the last hour struck and then could go no further.
What all have gained, from this great brave journey, we hope they can continue to use to make their own worlds, if not the world we all share, better. And if the challenge of the race was not enough then come back once again to Flushing Meadow and race again with a family of like minded runners. A place where the painful limitations of the human body are touched and illumined by the indisputable vastness of the heart within.