I ran my first half-marathon a few weeks ago. It wasn't a particularly impressive performance: I didn’t run that fast or post an impressive time, but as I crossed the finish line I found myself overcome with emotion, my eyes welling with tears. This half-marathon was the first individual athletic competition I’ve entered since high school, and I was struck by how different it was than a simple jog in the park.
I think it’s actually quite rare when the low, muted drumbeat that sets the tempo for most of our lives quickens, when a moment becomes elevated, when we find ourselves somehow—rather unexpectedly—really trying to do something daunting, where our own individual performance might tell us something we’re surprised to learn about ourselves. Maybe such moments are more available to us than we think. Maybe, if we’re willing, even an ordinary Sunday morning can make us feel so alive it brings us to tears.