We Have Sisu: The 2023 3M Half Marathon and Stoic Determination

Sisu: stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness”, (Wikipedia)

My friend Laurie and I met up in Austin and ran the 3M Half Marathon today. By our own accounts, we were showing up to the start line a bit under-trained, with only one goal in mind: finish the run.

Prior to this race, Laurie and I had met perhaps 2-3 times in person at an HR conference here and there. Our conversations up until the race had been mostly online through twitter, Instagram, and the occasional text.

But by chance, or perhaps because we just tend to run in the same circles (see what I did there?), we both ended up signing up to run the 3M Half Marathon in Austin Texas. And, well, despite all the things that could have kept us from showing up to the race (injuries, schedule conflicts, bad timing, travel chaos, and literally anything else), we got to the start line.

Then we did the little big thing of running 13.1 miles together.

We talked, we laughed, we tried to solve the world’s problems, and we ate doughnuts and bacon from the hands of strangers. Correction: I ate doughnuts and bacon from the hands of strangers.

Get there.

The race swung from fun to trying, then back to fun, then trying, then trying again, and then trying once more. We stuck it out, taking breaks when we needed to, we pushed ourselves, enjoying the moment, while also struggling to keep moving forward.

And we got there!

Was it the fastest race either of us had run? Nope. Had we had an epic conversation and enjoyed every step of it? Yup!

Afterward, we limped our way to breakfast, and then I headed back home. On my two-hour drive home, Laurie (I assume after a long recovery nap) summed up the day’s adventure in a quick text:

“We have sisu. We are sisu.”