Aguanta!  A good good Spanish (official language of South Florida?) word for….well, I was searching for the best translation I could find, but this word when used, has to be used just right and in the right context.  It is derived from the transitive verb “Aguantar,” which means “to hold steady,” as in “don’t let it fall,” “to support or bear,” “tolerate and withstand,” but I like to think of it like, “take it like a woman,” or “take it like a man.”

Aguanta requires that you keep a sustained action, resisting defeat, and holding “it” steady.  Aguanta pushes you to endure ’til the end.  This was my mantra today as I ran 6 miles up and down that “beast” of a bridge (E. Shaw) on 17th street in Fort Lauderdale today. The weather was formidable with rain threatening in the horizon, and I felt much better than yesterday.  I stopped midways twice at mile 4 and at mile five but I said to myself, in a forceful way, “aguanta!”   Just this simple verb became a powerful force and helped me to keep going.  Words carry power, remember this.

Yeah, it’s crazy, but sometimes I think in Spanish and sometimes I think in English.  Things often get a bit mixed up and sticky up there in my memory bank, and at times when I can’t retrieve or find an English word swift enough, the Spanish substitute promptly comes to my rescue.  I am not going to turn this post into a Dora The Explorer episode, although you can feel free to teach your kid a new Spanish word–it might help the poor soul sometime in the near feature, get my drift?  This Spanish thing is here to stay.  One just have to turn the radio on and listen to the most popular songs out there nowadays and take a side glance (even with one eye) at the good ‘ole US Census Bureau.  Yeah.  That’s what I mean.  It’s all good folks. “New Rule”, and I am not referring to the popular HBO show hosted by Bill Maher either (one I love watching with my sister Jackie).

So today “Aguante’ el golpe (blow)!”  That is, I withstood the blow of running up and down that Bridge in Fort Luaderdale.  That’s two Spanish words for the price of one!  Oh, and my name is not Dora.  I am thankful one of my Team In Training teammates, suggested I take this approach in my training at least once a week.  It will condition my body for my upcoming Madrid, Spain, Rock-N-Roll Marathon in April, to promote awareness of the prevalence of blood cancers and help fund the activity of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Also, if I get the chance to run the San Francisco NWM this year again, I would pass that 18 mile mark with grace, confidence, integrity, and my Christianity intact.

Caution! Know when to stop.

OYE!  When you are feeling like you just cant put that other foot ahead of the next, Aguanta!  Now I am by no means a sadist, so you should know when your action is causing more injury and damage than good.  Take this from someone who’s suffered a few injuries due to improper running, training, and the likes.  If you feel that big ugly red elephant sitting Buddha-style (lotus pose) or your chest, Stop!  You should know to contact a health-professional or call 911 and don’t “aguanta!”  If your right hip popped out of place and you are walking like “Timon El Pajero (a Honduran insider joke)” quit the road and seek the help of a health professional!  It might not even be your hip out of place.  It could very well be a stroke!  We at Running Nurse want to encourage you to break some of the barriers you may have set in your mind keeping you from reaching your fitness goals, but we recognize the individuality of people and their conditions.  So be conscious of your particular issues (unstable hips, unstable angina, bad toenails, etc) and do you!

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