The article discusses how runners sometimes become as obsessed with running as they had been with some old addictions they conquered when discovering the sport (such as smoking, overeating, etc.). He says that throughout his running lifetime, he has often had to "start again" because he didn't listen to his body and pushed himself to injury. Here he talks about how he has adjusted his view of what it means to not give up:
The great lesson that I learned from running--because I wanted to run for the rest of my life--was that I had to accept the limits of my body. I had to adjust my goals to match the reality of my abilities. I had to understand that if I wanted to run forever, I might have to not run today. Taking a day, or a week, or a month off, if necessary, might be hard, but it wouldn't mean giving up.
For someone who has quit jobs, left relationships, and often quit when the going got tough, running has been the exception. I haven't quit. I'm not going to quit, even if I take a break. And in that I take enormous pride.
I think this speaks to me, and to a lot of us who are either easily injured, are too hard on ourselves for taking time off, or both.
Just something to ponder. As I always say when I am injured, "Do I want to run for this next month, or for the rest of my life?" We put a lot of pressure on ourselves as runners--some of which is necessary to keep moving--but much of which is just another excuse to punish ourselves for not doing enough. I know I do this, and it's counterproductive. Don't we already have so much to worry about? Let's remember that running is suppose to be a release from all that madness, not another cause for worry.