Running the Yellow Light
I run about 4x a week, but I really don't consider myself a runner, rather just a guy who runs. I typically don't run far, typically 3 to 5 miles. Sometimes less. I can't say that I love to run. I like it. I like the cardio workout. I like running on trails, in the woods or on the beach. I like being outside and the feeling of the fresh air. Most of all I like it when my run is done! The feeling of "Yeah! I did it! It's done!" Some days the thought of just finishing is the only thing that keeps me going. Other days I actually enjoy the experience of running. On the days that I struggle it is good practice to be present, to be in each breath, each foot step, each pumping motion of my arms. Sometimes too big of a picture doesn't motivate it annihilates. On those days I just think, one more step, one more breath, I can do just one more, just keep going! On those days I only think about this moment and doing that one more time without giving up.
When I run near my apartment, there are many stop lights I have to run through on my route to and from the trail that I take. There is one particular light that is about 1/2 mile from the beginning and of course the end of my workout. It is a long light that is typically green when I get to it. Sometimes when I am feeling worn down I hope for it to be red so I can get a minute of rest. Sometimes that happens, most times it doesn't. However every once in a great while, I'll be tired and see the light turn yellow; I think if I really kick it in gear I can sprint to the light and then after my sprint, be able to rest a minute before completing my run. A couple of times I have done this in anticipation of the rest but the light was just a little out of reach. Just enough for me to sprint to it, only to catch it green again, meaning no rest for me, keep running!
There are a lot of life lessons here:
1) We are capable of much more than we think we are.
2) Our minds typically give up before our bodies will.
3) Etc, Etc.
What struck me this time was regarding my decision: Do I sprint and push though the challenge based on the thought of the reward of resting? Do I pace myself and continue running at a steady pace, without anticipating the desire for rest until I've completed my run? Do I just totally push it, sprint and then jog the rest of the way home? OR I could choose to sprint to the light and rest regardless if the light is red or green.
To me it's more about making a life habit out of training. Adapting it when necessary, but overall, Keep Going! Doing something is much better than not. Staying in "shape" so to speak is a habit that you have to do consistently, rather than bingeing, like some crash diet.
Life is filled with choices. We make decisions based on what's going on inside of us, around us and in correlation with others. No matter what choice you need to make in life, the clearer we can be with ourselves and the world around us the better our decisions. Having the right attitude, awareness and ability to act appropriately is essential for greater success and fulfillment in anything we do in our lives. How will those decisions affect you, and everyone around you? What is the direct effect as well as the ripple effect? Sometimes we need to push it to be successful, other times pacing yourself would be the smarter choice. Under certain circumstances, choosing not to engage at all may be the best choice if possible. In life we can find ourselves in situations that we didn't intend at all, facing circumstances we didn't anticipate or want, making the best choices we can with what we have available to us. Life often gives us the test first and the lesson after. That is why it's important to train and stay healthy, so that you keep yourself better maintained for those journeys that you may not have planned for. Find ways to maintain a sense of Foundational Grounding. Maintaining a strong base Mentally, Physically and Spiritually is important for the long haul! We have a tendency to binge: Crash diets, crash courses, extreme fitness, condensed classes, retreats, cleanses, etc etc. it's not sustainable. After the big push, we exhaust ourselves and then we stop to let it all hang out again. Eventually we feel bad enough again to try again. Like a bad relationship, it continues to cycle.
Tension builds up (You feel that you "should" get into shape, watch what you eat, get training in self defense, leadership, conflict management, get some counseling, help, etc.) - The Incident: Something "happens" (or is going to happen) to motivate you to take action, but you don't change your life habits, diet, workout, get self defense training, counseling, etc. - Reconciliation: You do your diet, workout, personal protection workshop, get your CPL, whatever, but you haven't changed your life habits, but for now you are sated so that leaves you in the Calm stage, where the incident is "forgotten" or at least not top of mind anymore, you "tried" right?! Eventually the Tension begins to build again preparing you for the next unhealthy cycle!
Stay healthy and Keep Going! It's a marathon, not a sprint! Develop a lifestyle that supports your journey. One reflecting the right attitude, awareness and ability to act. Clarity comes from the inside out, so Foundational Grounding your life is important. What is going to strengthen and support you Mentally, Physically and Spiritually? We have a saying:
BODY like a soldier.
MIND like a general.
MOUTH like a diplomat.
HEART like a protector.