On any other day I might have had a good laugh, may have even egged him on a bit with a funny reply or smile and wave but today was not that day. You see, not even half a mile into my run, I had already titled it UGH. I wasn't feeling it. My legs felt heavy, and my spirit was anything but light. I felt discouraged in every sense of the term. A half mile in and I decided five miles would be enough, I didn't need to go six. A half mile in I was ready to quit - tired of running the same streets, tired of running all together.
When I reached the track around mile three I was ready to just zone out. Run in circles, appreciate the different surface under my feet. I admired the colors of the leaves against the red-ish track. Then The Heckler made himself heard.
Through my tears I had a sad realization. You see, that heckler said out loud everything that I had been feeling the previous miles. I didn't feel fast. I didn't feel like I looked like a runner. I was in pain and I'm sure it showed. He spoke all my negative self-talk and it hurt. It hurt my heart and as my tears fell all I could do was pray. The enemy wasn't sitting on the bench, it had taken up a cozy spot in my head.
I wiped my face, blew a couple snot-rockets and chose a route home that included a tough hill. I cheered myself up it, pushed harder than I had all morning and complimented myself on my strength and determination. As I huffed and puffed at the top, I said to myself, or anyone else that was listening, you are not welcome here Heckler. Move along, because you can bet your ass I can run faster than you can walk.