There’s much to be said for the value of a strong support network.
On a dark, cold Sydney night, I was running home after a productive day at work. Few people were out and about, hurrying to get to their families.
Just before I reached the longest and steepest hill of my run, I began to apprehend the challenge to come. Would I manage to climb this in one hit or, as I had often done before, stop for a short break halfway through?
About 200 metres up the hill (which is about 1.2km in total), I started feeling a presence right behind me. I quickened the pace a little, but the deep breathing and heavy steps were still following me. I knew this was another runner, about 20 metres behind, tackling my hill.
There was no way I could let this person overtake me or be seen as giving up on the challenge. So I kept running, one step after the other.
Just as I reached the top of the hill, I crossed the road and looked behind to see her, my anonymous running companion. I felt like shouting ‘thank you for pushing me up the hill’.
There’s much to be said for the value of a strong support network – people who can keep us accountable when we feel like admitting defeat; who push us through hard times; encourage us to forge through. Everyone needs a running companion who’s right behind them. Who’s yours?