Mile By Mile

By Colleen Yorke
Navigational Art and Directions By Colleen Yorke, © 2015.
Each mile serves a purpose. The Romans were the first to recognize this. Stretching the miles across their vast empire, they placed mile markers on the side of roads, at periodic intervals of 1000 footsteps apart, telling travelers how close they were to the next inn or city. Remarkably, somewhere in Europe and in the Middle East, ancient mile markers still exist, reminding of a time where all roads led to Rome.
Roman Mile marker.
Running the miles, especially when we are training for a race, can be an ultimate testing experience with mixed messages of self-doubt, strength and self-assurance.  “Go the extra mile.” Mentally we give it our all – “We got to do this, we just got to” - while our bodies are begging us to stop. Running can be fun – in a twisted, smile through the pain kind of way – and we do get caught up in the spirit of competition, but there is more to it than that.  For me at least, in the long run, I latch on to something internal, something that gets me out on the road in spite of a tight schedule, unfriendly forecasts, or pain. For me, it is the journey. 
Beyond counting down the miles, and running from something or to something, it is what happens to us in between. Each mile serves its unique purpose. I may not be there yet, but I am further than I was yesterday, and I know in the end, after a colorful and rich journey, I’ll discover something amazing: My very own road with a mile marker waiting for just me.