Pressure is a privilege

In my last post, I mentioned the podcast Runner Academy with Matt Johnson. The past three episodes have all had to do with the Boston Marathon, leading up to the big day on April 21. The most recent podcast features an interview with Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray, and it. was. fantastic.

One of the things he said during the interview really stuck out for me: pressure is a privilege. The pressure, fears, jitters and worries you feel as race day approaches are emotions you’re lucky to feel, whether you’re feeling pressure to PR, BQ or just cross that finish line in one piece.

It’s a privilege to have qualified. It’s a privilege to have been healthy enough to train and get to Hopkinton and to have put in all those hours of hard work over the winter.

It’s a privilege to have family members, friends and colleagues who supported your training, who understood why you couldn’t make an event or had to readjust a time because “today’s my long run” (although there may have been a few eyerolls here and there). It’s a privilege to have the time and resources to train and then travel to Boston for the race, to be able to take off work and to have your company’s health benefits cover your physiotherapy sessions.

It’s a privilege to be able to afford new running shoes, gels, gus and protein powders, technical fabric clothing, foam rollers and even those special bandaids for blood blisters and black toenails. It’s a privilege to get to come back to a warm house and hot shower after a long, cold run during the infamous polar vortex.

It’s a privilege to be able to obsess about something as inconsequential, in the grand scheme of things, as running. It’s a privilege to run not because you’re being chased, or because you want to go to school and the nearest school is 20 miles away, but simply because…you can. Because it’s fun.

Most importantly, it’s simply a privilege to run. To have the legs and the health to line up with 36,000 other runners on April 21 and celebrate this sport, this city, this race.

Am I feeling the pressure, less than two weeks out, to run the perfect race of my dreams? Oh, definitely.

But I’m also feeling pretty damn lucky.

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