Sunday, October 31, 2010

What you do after the hill, is what counts!

So as promised, I went running Saturday. I did not go four miles. I didn't leave myself enough time. And if I'm honest with myself, that is okay. I think four miles would have killed me. So I settled for two miles and promised myself I would jog the entire thing. I almost did, I walked in about three places, and not for very long.

I had kind of an interesting experience though, so I thought I would share it.

I was on my little trail that I always run. I should take some pictures for you some time. Anyway, I haven't run for another two weeks. So this was not an easy run, and I knew it wouldn't be. But I just took it nice and slow - and went for it. Right in the middle of the jog (which is 2 miles long exactly), there is a hill. It's probably only about 1/8 of a mile, but I think it's pretty decent! Anyway, for the first part of the run, I was trying to focus on my breathing. And I'll be honest, I focused quite a bit on how BAD my feet were hurting, and how the cold air was my lungs burn, and how my thighs felt like rubber! Me - Me - Me! Not in a good "I'm living in the now and observing my surroundings" kind of way. More of a... selfish "everything is about me" kind of way. It wasn't good. And you know what's interesting, but then not really a surprise? It was hard! That was the hardest part of my run! I was tired, it was labor to keep going. I was in pain, and it wasn't going away! Anyway, I got to the hill, and my "coach" got going and helped me jog all the way to the top without stopping. Yay! Thanks coach (Yes, I talk to my voices - leave me alone)! As part of my encouragement to make it up the hill, I had told myself I could walk when I got to the top. So I made it to the top, and I walked. As I was walking (at a quick pace) I thought to myself, "You know if Jillian Michaels was with you, she would be yelling her head off at you!". Why? I guess the truth is that it's what you do after the hill that really counts. So I made it up the hill!! Go me!! But then what? I just give up? I stop running? Why? I wasn't 100% out of breath. I could have just slowed my pace a little to catch up with myself. Why did I have to stop jogging? So here is where my thoughts really took a turn, as did my run. I started jogging again. And started writing this post in my head.

You know, in life, we have to deal with a lot! Sometimes it's an immediate crisis, like losing a loved one, a car accident, a scraped knee, learning you have a very debilitating disease, loss of the use of a limb, divorce, not being able to have children - or at least having trouble doing so, etc. As I was thinking of these, I think it was interesting that they spanned such a wide scale of severity. I do not mean to belittle any one's crisis by comparing it to a scrapped knee. I guess I was just thinking that to every person, if what they are going through feels like a "crisis" well then it is one. Even if their crisis may not seem like much in comparison to someone else's.

Anyway... I was thinking about going through a crisis. What do we do? We bunker down. We deal. Or maybe we don't deal, and that's how we get through. Some of us hide ourselves from the world, while others constantly surround themselves with others. Some people need silence, while others have to have constant noise to drown out the feelings. Some people starve themselves, not on purpose I think (I wouldn't know, because I've never had this particular problem. :D But I do know people that have) and some people shovel the food in like it's going out of style. Some people shop, and others save. The point is, we all have our way of dealing with these times. And we do what it takes to get through the crisis. I think that during a time of crisis we need to be loving and kind with ourselves, and allow what needs to happen to happen.

But there does come a time, when we are able to move past the crisis - or the crisis is over. And I think this is a time we get to find out what we are really made of. I think it is a time we still need to be loving and kind to ourselves. We need to not necessarily judge ourselves for our weaknesses. But I do think we need to hold ourselves accountable and responsible. It's a time to look back on what just happened and look for the possible lessons that can be learned. It's a time to look at what is in front of us, what we have now, and decide what we are going to do with it.

I started thinking of people I know who have dealt with serious - life altering - crisises. I look up to these people so much, and hope that someday I can be more like them. These are people that have dealt with losing loved ones in tragic circumstances, divorce (some expected, some not expected), some with chronic diseases that will never go away, etc. And you know, these people I am thinking about are astonishingly positive. Instead of dwelling on their crisis, they have chosen to use it as a way to become a better person. And not only that, but to share their inspiring attitudes with others. These people have impacted my life and taught me that it's not what life brings you that matters - it's what you do with it.

So the point of all this, when you get to the top of hill, don't stop running! I did, and it was disappointing. I was disappointed in myself when I realized what happened. I want to fight a little more, stay engaged, stay in tune with the goal before me. And when I get to the top of the hill, I want to keep running!

The cool thing? After I thought about all that, I started thinking on the projects I briefly mentioned in my last post that I'm not ready to share yet. One of which has to do with serving others. I started thinking on that, planning, brainstorming. And you know what happened? From the time I started thinking of others, my jog became easier! My breath leveled out. The pain in my feet lessened. The rest of the jog I had no desire to walk. I wasn't worrying about "me" anymore. Talk about a big eye opener!

Lesson learned: Forget yourself!


fatgirlwearingthin said...

I love the new look of your blog, Sam!
This post particularly spoke to me. My rough patches have leveled out, but have left me drained, both physically and mentally. Sometimes I don't know how I got through this year; and I have one more hurdle to go through: the man involved in my mother's hit and run accident is being sentenced this month and I will be in attendance. Sometimes we just have to take a deep breath, let our bodies go on auto pilot for a while and weather out the storm. Your post came at a great time. Thank you for that.

Becky said...

I am definitely going to try out this mentality on my run tonight. I've noticed myself that whenever I am focusing on me and the pain or whatever it hurts worse and it is harder to stay running. When I am distracted (whether it's because of a great song or I'm with a friend), it gets much easier.

Anonymous said...

Your posts are always so inspiring, Sam. :) Can't wait to find out more about your projects.

Joy said...

WOW what a great life lesson. Gave me goose bumps!!! Loved it!!!

Keep up the great work my friend!!

HCGpower said...

Hey you should come join dailymile. It helps to know others are keeping or trying to keep up with your runnning. I know you will like it.

ladyofthehouse said...

Love the new blog look!!
It's so true that our lives in general are so much better when we are not focused on self!
FYI- I started a 'thankful' challenge you may wish to check out.
Hope you have a great week!!

diane :)

Quay said...

Great entry Sam! Always so full of things to think about!