Lessons from “Spider Loop” Trail

Jannine Myers

The last few times we’ve gone out to run our favorite “Spider Loop” trail, we’ve crossed paths with several large banana spiders. If we see them ahead of us, we do our best to duck underneath their webs, but sometimes getting past them requires running right through them, knocking them to the ground and destroying their web in the process. We generally don’t stick around to assess the damage, because banana spiders are just a tad bit scary, but surprisingly enough we have discovered that they don’t scurry off in defeat, but that they simply get back to spinning their web again. We know this because by the time we loop back around a new web is almost in place.


Okinawa banana spider (Photo source – Mike’s Ryukyu Gallery)


Could you imagine if we had that kind of tenacity – where we could somehow find the strength to rise up again if the things that kept us elevated and secure were suddenly swept from beneath us? For most of you reading this post, running is a key part of your life; it’s something you rely on to meet various needs (physical, emotional, and social). Losing the ability to run temporarily would probably result in a considerable amount of disappointment, and how that disappointment is handled might determine how quickly (or slowly) running can be resumed. Will we toss our hands up in despair and throw ourselves a pity party, or will we accept that we have an injury, or over-training illness, or a busy work schedule for example, and get busy (like the banana spider), rebuilding a path that leads to a quick-as-possible return to running? I’d like to think that we’d choose the latter option and not let temporary lapses in our training get the better of us.

Here’s a few quotes from some elite female athletes to help keep us inspired when we hit those low moments in training – and believe me, there will be lows from time to time:

  • I truly believe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Even if you fail, learning and moving on is sometimes the best thing.” – Danica Patrick, race car driver
  • Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice. – Bethany Hamilton, surfer
  • Falling in life is inevitable—staying down is optional.'” – Carrie Johnson, two-time Olympic kayaker
  • ‘If you think you can’t, you won’t, and if you think you can, you will. When I’m tired at practice, I tell myself that I’m not tired, and I can push through. If you tell yourself you’re tired or if you tell yourself you’re sick, your body is going to follow the mind. –Kellie Wells, 2011 USA indoor and outdoor 100m hurdles champion
  • My dad would tell me to, ‘Play for those who couldn’t play.’ So my motivation is for people who struggle in life daily – Misty May-Treanor, two-time beach volleyball Olympic gold medalist
  • My competition isn’t resting! – Kim Rhode, five-time Olympic shooter
  • Some people say I have attitude- maybe I do…but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there.” – Venus Williams (Tennis)
  • The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret.” – Sarah Bombell (Swimmer)
  • Winners are afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning. – Billie Jean King (Tennis)


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