Lessons From a Spider

I have spent the past two weeks in the gorgeous, enchanting and restoring Pacific North West, where my parents have recently retired.  Coming back to the West Coast and evergreen trees, mountains, crisp rivers and salt kissed bay water is like coming home for me!


I have been enjoying some amazing runs in the morning, through forests, mountains, reclaimed old railroad bridges and beautiful meadows.  And aside from the abundant beauty and lush greenery around, I started noticing a common theme –

Delicate, dew dropped spider webs.




I know…I know…I can hear half of my audience right now going “Ewwww….I hate spiders!” but stay with me on this one.

Now, I fall into the arachnid “love” camp, and seeing all of these webs reminded me that – whether you love them or suffer from severe arachnophobia – we can all learn a little something from the spider; specifically orb weaver spiders.

Take their webs, for example; many of them spend hours building just the right structure to catch their prize (their next meal). They select the perfect location, and then work tirelessly to spin their webs; which at first glance may appear to be just delicate strands, but in reality they are much stronger than you’d imagine. Some spiders are even known to construct a web, only to tear it down if it isn’t suitable enough for the task at hand. Talk about mini-perfectionists!

Let’s also consider their patience and tenacity. Once they build their webs, they wait.Sometimes it isn’t long before a morsel drops in, but sometimes they wait hours and hours, with no guarantee of a reward for all of their efforts.They have the patience and faith in their hard work.

Finally, we can learn a lot about starting anew from a spider. These webs are both their home and the foundation for all of their meals, and every day, they tear their webs down and rebuild. Regardless if the web was successful or not, a spider isn’t afraid of the hard work it takes to start anew and rebuild. They aren’t stuck on the idea of holding on to something that isn’t working, or changing even if it is. They start anew each day with a beautiful and functional web.

How can these lessons apply to us in life and running as well?  To start, we must have faith in the effort of our work and training; it may seem tenuous and delicate at times, but we are ALL much stronger and capable than we know. Their patience and tenacity can remind us to put in the hard work and trust the process, but we must never fear starting over.Whether it be a delicate and humble spider web, or a massive PR, achieving anything in life requires hard work, patience (so much patience!!), tenacity, and embracing starting over when the situation calls for it.

So perhaps, the next time you see a spider web, you will be reminded of the lessons we can all learn from these tiny little creatures.  At least this spider lover can hope!  ;)  Nature is always ready to teach us, if we are only willing to open our eyes and are minds.