Beat the rain
We are all at the metaphorical start line to the 2020 marathon; How you choose to run this race is entirely up to you. Many of you will make a New Year’s resolution others may have a goal or two, there are the dreamers and schemers who will wish or con they way to the finish line. How many will “score a personal victory this year?”
That depends everyone starts the year wanting to lose weight, get healthier, quit smoking, find a relationship, go back to school–You get the picture. The problem is they only half want it, because they don’t want to give up high caloric goodies, get up early to workout, go through nicotine withdrawal, get their heart broken, or have to study. We all want things but we rarely are willing to give up the comforts of our ruts.
People who are willing to change have a higher purpose for that change. They want to lose weight to feel better, be around for their children to grow up, be able to do more and live more fully. People are willing to change their current habits to be better because they have come to a realization they can have more and be more if they are willing to let go of past beliefs and stories. They must be willing to put themselves first, in order to give fully you need to be full.
So here is my question how are you going to run 2020? If you’re not willing to run it; It will run you…
As an aside my word for the year is Patience, I will deal with life moment by moment by putting one foot in front of the other. This philosophy has done me well in running, I don’t see how it won’t work in 2020.
Today’s run shouldn’t have been so easy. I’m fighting a cold, I started out much later than I normally do, there was a stiff northwest breeze, yesterday my legs felt like rigor mortis set in… But it was Friday and I was scheduled to do at least two so I figured I’d give it a shot and if worst came to worst I would walk. After a quick warm up I set out to my usual neighborhood run and my legs felt good, the wind was a bit of an annoyance but it wasn’t always a factor. I was able to maintain a steady comfortable pace even during the uphill portions. I was flummoxed I thought this was going to be a struggle, instead it was one of my easiest runs I’ve had in a while.
The whole time I was running I was analyzing why I was feeling this way and why wasn’t this hard. Then I realized I didn’t set any big expectations on myself I was setting out just to run or walk. Not to beat a time or feel one way or another. In part this was also due to the fact, that I’ve become more honest with myself and others in my life about what I can and cannot do. Life took a hard left a couple of months ago and my already busy life had a lot more responsibilities added. Admittedly I was a bit unnerved by all this, until I started realizing I could only control what was in front of me. I couldn’t change the past or act in the future all I have is here and now. I recently heard a quote by Abraham Lincoln that goes,” Luckily the future comes one day at a time.” That simple quote has given me new perspective, the same sort of perspective I get from running one step at a time and you get to where you’re going. I can’t let my sense of responsibility over burden me with guilt. I’m only one person with two hands, and an all too willing heart. By learning to let my limits be known I’m able to get more done for everyone, but more importantly, easily …
Running; A way to sanity and away from insanity…
These past two weeks, have been some of the most difficult in my life. Through it all running has helped me maintain my center, relieve my anxiety, sadness, and overwhelm. During today’s three mile training run I discovered how much running has kept me sane.
After being blindsided by my cousin’s (brother’s) sudden death, then having to share this horrible news with my mother left me numb. So numb that my initial response was the inability to cry or physically move–Ironic for someone who is constantly moving. Shortly after sharing the news with my mother, I was able to shed tears and so many more have followed and are to come. I also found out that I had the extra responsibility of being named the executrix to his will.
As you may imagine my anxiety shifted into overwhelm! Along with my long list of responsibilities I had a bunch more heaped upon me when I was my most vulnerable. I wanted to run away. Away from the sadness, responsibility the pressure of doing the right thing being sure everyone was taken care of, but first I had to take care of me.
Self care for me includes, meditation, spiritual reading, my martial arts practice and running. The meditation, reading and martial arts required too much of my mental energy and although I continued with all those disciplines, running has been my great escape. I know for 30minutes to 2 hours all I had to focus on was the next step and next breath — This moment the only moment. I was able to cry (not pretty) mourn his loss, and try to run my anger into the ground.
After the days of the “hard running” I began noticing, dragonflies, butterflies, Cardinals, and pennies were found. I knew my cousin was safe on the other side and sending me messages. Running became a source of comfort.
I’ve been running on and off since 1991 first to prepare for my black belt, then occasionally to get into shape. It wasn’t until I was about to turn 60 that I gave myself the goal of running a half marathon, that I got serious about running. I didn’t realize until today that goal changed my life forever. It wasn’t finishing the half it was running, just running…
One Step, One Breath, This Moment; The only moment…
“Remember, Jonathan, heaven isn’t a place or a time, because place and time are so very meaningless.” From Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach.
Or how to avoid living an unfulfilling life;
I’ve been away for quite the while–I’ve got no answer as to why, maybe I just wasn’t compelled to write. I’ve continued to run routinely, entered in a few races and I’m still enjoying running’s many benefits. I guess I had the need to keep certain thoughts and feelings to my self. This past year I’ve witnessed a good deal of loss, and changes. I needed time to work these things through before I could write my thoughts and share them with you.
As I said 2018 and 2019 has been difficult, I’ve lost friends, had friends lose spouses, pets, and jobs. Some of my friends battled various serious illnesses, some won others didn’t. Generally change is not unusual at the end of a decade there seems to be more loss, and change for everyone during this period (out with the old in with the new). During all the added stress life went on, we went to work, paid the bills and got ready to do it again each and everyday.
Some may call this a rut, I call it poor wait management. Let me clarify this with an explanation that will hopefully provide perspective. About this time a year ago the younger brother of one of my students was diagnosed with bone cancer. Nothing seem to go his way, and despite, incredible treatment, and support from his family he passed away this past Wednesday at the age of 11. I bring this up as a not so subtle reminder that everyday is precious. We can’t think that illness only comes when we are old. You have to live proactively not reactively.
I have a bracelet that has the word Purpose on it to remind me to live with purpose every moment. My purpose is to share my experiences, to help people grow, to help others, to spread kindness, to create laughter, to learn to experience life fully the good and the bad.
So if you’re waiting for the right man/woman to complete you know you are a complete man or woman. Perhaps you’re waiting for children to leave home before you start working on your dream–you maybe waiting until they’re 50, can you wait that long? You may want to be starting a new career or business but the economic climate is wrong. There are as many waiting scenarios as there are people procreating. I’m here to say don’t wait! The only time we have is this moment, you need to take action NOW! No one is promised tomorrow.
We only regret what we never tried–not what we did! Manage your wait, ask yourself what is the dream? What is my purpose? If you’re having difficulty determining a goal go for a run, I hear there’s a lot of thoughts during a run…
Hug someone, tell someone you love them, call an old friend and keep the young boy I mentioned in your thoughts any time you think you have more time…
This is the first full winter that I’ve trained through. Believe me there were some sub freezing days that were less than ideal but I went anyway. I learned how to dress not only for the weather but for running in the weather. There were the had to hit the dreadmill days, but there was rarely a missed schedule training day and for that I’m proud.
Here is what I learned; even though the world seems asleep there’s still lots of life. Robins were replaced with darting chickadees and juncos. Ducks and geese still took the icy waters. Trees bared all the crooked misshapen branches no longer adorned with the color of fall. The sun’s angle created haunting shadows as I ran. The barren landscape of winter gave me space to go inward for some incredible reflection. Some I wished I shared with you all but selfishly kept to myself…
Spring is here my first race of the year behind me, it was difficult long, windy and sometimes cold, yet like the winter it had moments of clarity and peace…
Lately I’ve been listening to show tunes during my runs;Here’s what I’m learning.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, a year in the life… (Seasons of Love) Rent — When this comes on I think of the past year, the good the bad and ordinary moments and it motivates me to be better. A better teacher, runner, “human” — I’ve become more aware of time and how precious it is…
(What I did for Love) from a Chorus Line, first thing I recall is that it’s my favorite song from my favorite musical. Then it reminds me of choices we make and how they effect our path. For instance choosing martial arts as a career vs remaining a R.N. I often look at my school and think of this song because one day there will be another choice to be made.
(Getting to know you) The King and I; I love this because it’s a teacher learning about her students. I find this song brings me joy, first it’s so bright and to be honest I’m almost floating when I hear this song.
(Ease on Down the Road) the Wiz, this one just inspires me to move forward get my butt in gear. Fun to run with.
There are many others, but I’m sure you’ve gotten the drift. I love looking for meaning and messages in music, in the things I read. I believe the universe speaks to us through these mediums. Besides it makes something I enjoy even more enjoyable.
So the next time you’re choosing a play list to work out or run with try going to Broadway…
Part of my 2019 intention of purpose, was not only to do things that served or had purpose but, to find a way to be grateful of the things, events, and people that cross my path — that give me purpose.
Since the new year started I’ve been following the exercises I got from a masters class from Calm on gratitude. Every morning following my spiritual reading and meditation I journal on something I’m grateful for. Subjects have ranged from long runs, certain members of my family and today’s entry “Inclement weather”. Those who know me personally (have either fallen off their chair or at least have reread the previous line). I repeat this morning I wrote a paragraph on my gratitude for inclement weather. This self-proclaimed winter weeny who has bitched and whined at the mention of cold and or snow is grateful or should I say found something to be grateful for regarding horrible weather.
You see finding something to be grateful for no matter what the situation helps me be happier, less stressed over that which is not under my control. For example, instead of sulking over the weather I focused on using the indoor time to get paper work done, a longer meditation session, warm cozy socks, home-made soup — The weather also allowed for a quick trip to the gym for some dread-mill running. Which is slightly better than no running at all.
There was a time not so long ago in which I could never imagine myself running outdoors in winter let alone go to the gym in a deluge to run on a treadmill. Yet this is what I did without complaint — I was grateful for the opportunity. I no longer hibernate in winter, I live each day under my terms, I am grateful for all I have and for all who share my path…
The change was easy, to quote Dr. Wayne Dyer “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”