Who are you & where are you going?

I’m feeling reflective today. Maybe it’s the sun shining outside which makes me hopeful for warmer weather and a little heat. Maybe it’s the fact that I rolled {literally} out of bed this morning at 4 a.m. to go spin (insert factoid: no one else showed up, just me) and now I am drunk from sleepiness. Or maybe it is the fact that I have taken a few days off from running. I ran yesterday, just an easy 3, but before that Friday was my last run in which I squeezed out a double set with somewhere below 9 miles. I felt “high” after that run on Friday. My stomach was hungry from working hard and I craved really nutritional things. Saturday I awoke feeling great. However, since then I have contemplated where that “high” came from and really realized something. My first run that day was solo, I ran under 6 at a decent pace, 9’42”. I had wanted to go slower but I seem to have issues listening to myself lately (although, that pace is not considered “fast”). I wanted to take the time to enjoy the run but instead it felt labored and almost like a chore. The second run was with an old running buddy who has taken the winter off and is returning slow and steady. We decided to go out for a 3 mile run. I knew her pace would be slower than mine but I was really looking forward to that. Sometimes, I need someone to keep me in line. Otherwise I forget what running is really about. Running with this person, has always given me the ability to look around, enjoy the run, feel my body, concentrate on my gate, the things you are supposed to do while running. I get to just enjoy and explore whatever is going on in my mind at that moment. It’s liberating really and after the run I was feeling really wonderful. I felt like I had visited a place I had been away from awhile. It was fresh.

I’ve been too focused on the end result the past few months and I have forgotten all about the journey. Every run I go on seems to never be good enough because I’m too busy comparing myself with others and how “well” they are doing. Rather than exploring what this all means for my body and my mind, I’m too busy putting down every run I go out on. It’s not a fair venture. And it’s not the way to keep myself running. As races come closer, I’m feeling bitter rather than excited. As if these races are the reason why I am not necessarily enjoying the art of running right now.

Too high expectations can be a real downfall. And everyone does it. In running, in weight, in life, in relationships, whatever. We all want grand things for ourselves. But in the meantime are we noticing the moment while it’s happening? Are we taking the time to look around at who we are and where we are going? Can I see the road in front of me or am I too busy visualizing the finish line? How one gets to the end is just as important as the end itself. It’s a philosophy that I need to revisit. I have let myself get away from some of the important stuff. I don’t want to be fifty years old and not know any of the details because I didn’t think to pay attention.

So I am making an oath to stop comparing myself to other runners. I am a runner. I don’t need to do better for anyone else but myself. And no one else is going to validate what I have going on. I’m going to take the time to pay attention, eyes wide open, to the sky and notice the way everything looks everyday. I’m going to leave the dishes in the sink. I am going to allow myself to run where and how I want.

Look at what you have going on in your life? Are you a runner? A mother? A chef who forgets to taste and enjoy the food you make? Are you a lone person staring at your body in the mirror? Let’s accept where we are today and all the steps we took to get here. Life is short. Play hard. Think less. Reflect more. Get in the moment. Find your love, whatever that happens to be.

*this photo is not me by the way, I just happen to really really love it.

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