Inspirational Short: Run Like a Horse | Ed Eyestone

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During my freshman year there was one goal
that sounded like it would etch my name into athletic immortality: that would be being
named an All-American. To become All-American meant making it to
the national meet and then finishing in the top six in your event. That year nationals were in Austin, Texas,
where there was an incredible heat wave taking place. With two laps to go, I could tell I was losing
ground. By the sound of the sloshing shoes approaching,
I could tell that two runners were gaining. If both of them passed me, I would go from
All-American my freshman year to almost All-American. One of the runners passed me and the other
was now on my shoulder. I dug for all that I had. And then something happened: suddenly my world
was in slow motion, and instead of running in a straight line like you want to do in
a race, I was running a little to the left and a little to the right as I started weaving
down the track. I watched as the two runners pulled away from me as my All-American dreams
my freshman year disappeared. The only clear memories I have of the moments
after this were of me being dragged from the track and saying, “I need to finish!”
and my coach saying, “You’re finished, Ed. Believe me—you’re finished.” Then he went on: “Ed, today you ran like
a horse!” He could still tell I was not impressed by
the simile, so he explained further: “You know, you can take a good mule up in the mountains,
and the mule will do a lot of work for you. But when a mule gets tired, it will stop.
You can push it, you can pull it, and you can motivate it with a stick, but until it
has recovered, it will go nowhere. “If you have a good horse, you can run with that horse
until it drops over, completely exhausted or completely dead. Today you ran like a horse.” Many times we are going to do everything possible
to accomplish our goals, but the nature of life is that sometimes, despite doing all
the right things, we are going to come up a little short. But if we have done everything
in our power—if we have run like a horse—then that is all that is required. We can hold
our heads high.

 

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