Nelson Mandela once said that “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire.” Sport does have the power to inspire, as did Mandela. Though boxing was his sport, he was also a cross-country runner. It was jogging that was his companion through 27 years in prison. It’s reported he jogged seven miles of day, sometimes in a cell, sometimes in the prison courtyard.
Early in the morning. Twenty-seven years, seven miles a day, jogging in limited space. Sometimes followed by push-ups. Early in the morning. Before work detail.
No Garmin to record those miles. A treadmill? I doubt it.
This vision rather diminishes any discomfort or boredom on those days when ice and frigid temperatures make me see reason, opting to step on the treadmill. It offers blinking lights, measured miles, set pace, neat storage space for my water bottle. Disgruntled that my spirit can’t run free down the path along the river this day, I run the miles. Not 7, but a few. Not years, but a day or two. Considering this, I am both in awe and feeling silly with the notion that such strength and focus can even be comprehended.
Sport – and Nelson Mandela – wil continue to inspire this runner.