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Embracing the Storm

This Sunday, myself and around 40 members of our team and a few of our customers will be running either a full or half marathon. I’ve been eagerly looking forward to this race for weeks—but as I started paying more attention to the weather forecast for race day, that excitement began to dwindle. There will be rain, there will be wind (perhaps up to 40mph), and it will be cold.

It looks as if we’ll be running in a storm. In my case, I’ll be running 26.2 miles in a storm. I voiced my complaint to one of my leaders yesterday, and he said:

“Kevin, sometimes you just have to embrace the suck.”

Running a full marathon—or even a half marathon—is difficult enough without being pelted by cold rain and running against bitter gusts of wind. “Embracing” those conditions for hours on end was not exactly the way I wanted to spend my anticipated weekend.

But as I thought more about it, my leader’s word choice began to make sense.

I’ve run many, many races and only a select few stand out. If conditions were perfect—sunny and comfortable and easy—this one, too, might get shuffled into the pile of the other forgotten and unmemorable races. But this one has the potential to become a lasting memory, a story of enduring discomfort and pushing through towards a goal.

It has the potential to test us in a way a “perfect” race couldn’t. Aren’t some seasons in life the same way? When we trek through periods of discomfort or fight our way through hardship, we learn a lot about ourselves and we emerge with a story to tell.

A story we can look back on when the next season of discomfort comes our way—because we all know that next season will come.

A story that just might help someone else endure a challenging time.

A story worth telling.

So this Sunday, I’m going to “embrace the suck” along with many of our team members. I’ll let you know how the story unfolds—and what we learn from the other side of the storm.