It has taught me patience. I'm not a particularly naturally patient person. I like things to be fast and awesome. In fact, I like to be fast and awesome myself. A fast learner, ever hoping to be efficient, a fast runner.
Let's be honest about this: I'm only patient about running because I want to be fast. And the only way there is through long-suffering. Every step is important - the speed of that step - but the speed of that step only matters when it's coupled with a vast number of the same - taking step after step even after you stop being enamored with the wind on your cheeks and the downward slope of ease that faded into incline. You just keep taking steps even after you're done being impressed with how easy it is. The switch surprises you, from ease to disease - you realize you can't really breathe anymore. But it doesn't matter what you want, and you tell yourself it really will be over soon knowing all too well its truth and its lie.
What is "soon" when you're in the moment of pain?
It's faith. But you draw on experience. You remember the last time you ran, and more than that, you remember having run, having stepped through the moment of impasse that you now face. You remember that you forgot about the impasse this whole time - until now. Like a time-traveler's fragrance, the past's whiff floods in, and there you are again, as if for the first time. Stepping, stepping, stepping, forcing patience in the step. Grasping the invisible like the saints- you'll forget about this moment again, and it will be worth it.