Ma Moehl insisted consistency was the biggest lesson to teach her two daughters, and the message carries through in many aspects of my life. I feel physically my best when I go to sleep around 10pm and wake up around 6-7am. I feel connected to friends when I interact with them on a regular basis. I feel well fed when I cook in my kitchen, three meals and two snacks a day… often dessert too. I feel the most grounded as a person when I cover a few or many miles, human powered, preferably on my own two feet and on dirt. There are so many pulls and distractions that infiltrate our day that I find having consistency in as many aspects of life as I can is the thread that keeps me centered through it all. When travel, work, social engagements, emails, have to’s, to do’s, and other obligations challenge my ability to maintain my l routine, it seems running is the mainstay, the core of the list, the one thing I will always do. I can and do run anywhere and everywhere. The simplicity of shoes and a sports bra enables a dependable interaction with wherever life takes me. It is a way to connect with the land, the people, and the community. It is a way to understand where I am physically – I love a morning run in a new town to find the coffee shop and grocery store – and a way to understand and process the thoughts in my head. “There are not many issues in life that a long run cannot solve. Sometimes the run has to be a bit longer.” Running is one thing I have and will count on for years to come. Running, my parents’ consistent presence, and Ma’s helpful life lesson.
We supplant the word with terms like doing work, the hustle, max effort, the grind, making moves, and so forth. However we dress it up, the essence boils down to momentum—mass and velocity. When we dream of undertakings that seem impossible and decide to overcome mountains, real or imagined, we give life to it. We make plans, prepare ourselves, and gather equipment as needed. In doing so, we give the dream mass. However, without the added component of motivation, our internal compass has no direction of travel. By focusing this accumulated mass, and applying a bit of motivation, we gain velocity to propel us forward. The 30th Marathon des Sables, a 156-mile footrace through the Saharan Desert region of Morocco, was an opportunity to be exposed to a multitude of intangible lessons learned in between the points of accomplishment: diligence to small tasks, persistence in the face of adversity, and the ability to learn and move beyond failures. In my childhood, competition used to relate to my personal performance with respect to others. It has grown far beyond that view to encompass others, myself, and the gifts of Mother Nature. Regardless of how we perform with respect to ourselves and each other, Mother Nature has always been the biggest facilitator of adversity in our paths. Through the struggle, we realize undiscovered weaknesses and levels of untapped strength in reserves. – Mosi D. Smith is a former Marine Captain who is also known as The Running Smith after finishing races such as the Boston Marathon, Virginia Triple Ironman, Western States 100, Badwater Ultramarathon and the Marathon des Sables. For more Mosi, check out runningsmith.com.