Citwit Matthew Kamph, who attends the University of Memphis, dropped into the CITIUS MAG inbox with a little ode to summer training after he says that he’s grown to appreciate it.
Dear runners everywhere,
It’s me again, your good friend Summer Training! It’s been almost a year since we’ve last had a chance to sit down and talk, but I hope that all is well. I’m sure that you’d love to disregard this letter as so many others have, since I’ve become such a commonality, but just hear me out. It might be refreshing to hear what I have to say once again.
Ask any runner about me and I’m certain that you’ll get a response that’s along the lines of being a “nuisance”, “such a burden” or my personal favorite “irrelevant.” What I think people are missing, whether competing during summer or gearing up for a long cross country season, is that you all need me.
That’s right, you need me. This isn’t a two way street, I can always find someone else to be present in and compel them to get off their butts and go out in the pursuit of some higher level of fitness. But the fact of the matter is that you need me and to get the most out of me I ask you follow just a few simple guidelines.
First and foremost, I will ask that you respect me. I will stick with you for many months to come and whatever amount of effort you put in to me is what will be returned. I do not have any cheat codes, secret hacks, or “instant return” policies. There is no two-day shipping on fitness. If you choose to ignore me, I will haunt you like the ghost of Christmas past and will constantly remind you of what could have been. But for those of you who choose to respect me, by getting up and out in the pursuit of a better you, I will help you out not only now but later on down the road. Quite simply, I can help make your next few months quite enjoyable.
Second, please know that I won’t get offended if you stand me up every now and then. You’re busy and need to do other things. For crying out loud it’s summer! The weather might be too unbearable or your family and friends might have other plans. It’s okay if we don’t see each other every day. I want you to be happy and only have good thoughts when I pop in to your mind. But please know that I am always accessible and that I provide a great service to seeing new places around the world. Let me know when you’re ready to go and lets discover new sights and cities!
Finally, and most importantly, don’t become afraid of me and feel like you have an obligation to put 100% effort in to me every day. If you want to go for a leisurely stroll, or an all-out tempo, I will be with you every step of the way. Like I said before, I remember what you have put in when October and November roll around and let’s be honest, that is what really counts for many of you. As much as I hate to admit it, these hot summer months and I are not the most important parts of your running career. So with this in mind, don’t go to great efforts to impress me every day, I respect those who respect themselves.
Know that if you’re not careful, I can very easily hurt you more than I can help you. What follows me is many more months of hard work before you can truly let your fitness shine, and the best way to honor me is to give it your all when you toe that starting line.
Enjoy these days and I look forward to seeing you soon. Remember, I am a friend, not an enemy. I only want to see you at your best when it counts the most!