I went running on an off day over the weekend and ran about two miles on a fairly busy road close to where I live. It's a straight road with one big disadvantage: the farther you run, the farther you have to run back. Hence, if you run too far, you have to run an equal distance back to the starting point, sometimes in the hot sun. I usually park at a local gas station and from there commence my journey.
Yet, running two miles like I did was not overly difficult but it was relatively insignificant compared to the distances I used to run. As a matter of fact, on this road, I used to run four miles on occasion: two miles to the bridge over the Cahaba River from my starting point and two miles back. Mind you, this type of run was always very challenging, especially on the way back to the gas station. The reason? There is a huge hill I would have to climb as I was coming back. It's a tough hill to run, especially after running a couple of miles. But, due to its impressive size, I gave the hill a name, "Character Hill", because of the challenge it presented in conquering it. To run up this hill and then make my way back to the gas station was quite a feat. Running up this hill demonstrated that I was a serious runner, not just one out for a lazy stroll.
Come to think of it, we all have "character hills", so to speak. These are formidable challenges which approach us every day and come in a variety of venues. It could be cancer or major illness as occurred in my life. Maybe going to school. Perhaps difficult work or family situations to endure. Whatever the case, we have to decide whether to run up these character hills. It may be taxing, it may be difficult, or maybe even exhausting, but somewhere along the way, we'll be rewarded for our efforts.
On your mark. Get set. Go!