run for your life

I ran six miles today.

runningNormally that would not be a huge deal, but yesterday I had long workout session. I ran 4 miles, biked 14 miles, and swam ¼ mile. I say this for two reasons: The first is so that I can help explain my condition today. The second is so that I can show off a bit. I am training for a triathlon in September which has me covering lots of miles by foot, bike, and water. I don’t break any land speed records, but I do finish the races I enter. I have never been first, but I have never been last either.

Back to today.

So after about a mile or so today, I started to get a tingle in my knee. I am assuming it was because all the running over the last 3 weeks and very little rest. What was apparent was that it annoyed me every time I put my left foot on the ground and I knew that I had a whole bunch more of these steps to go. I could not help but focus all of my concentration on preparing for each step and the discomfort that accompanied it.

Then I realized something.

Over the first mile, my left foot spent just as much time over the ground as it did on it. That foot spent just as much time resting as it did working. I had just as much of an opportunity to enjoy my first mile as I did to resent it. I could have appreciated the air time, but I was too busy focusing on the tingle.

So I made a decision.

glass halfI was going to pay attention to the part of my run that was more enjoyable. I chose to look forward to my foot leaving the ground, as opposed to it striking it. Then I did the same with the other foot. The crazy part is that my focus gave off a cerebral sensation (in my cerebellum, located next to my limbic system not to be confused with my medulla oblongatta) that my foot spent more time flying through the air than it did digging into the pavement. I felt more confident. I felt like I could finish. So I did.

I’m going to talk to my children about this tomorrow.

Circumstances in life can be irritating, just like a tingly knee during a jog. Being a kid may look like fun and games, but I remember some things that, at the time, were larger than life. I remember decision I could have or should have made if I just had some incouragement.

Our kids will have to decide if they are going to focus on how much is in the way of them reaching their goals or focus on what is working in their favor. The outcome is based on their decisions. There are so many opportunities for us to teach our kids how to handle life’s “frustrations” and it’s too easy to find reasons to give up. Try to teach them optimism every chance you can. Let them know that they can do whatever they want to do, if they want to do it bad enough. Try to teach them how to finish what they started, even in the face of opposition.

Then teach them about ice-packs and Ibuprofen.


7 Responses to run for your life

  1. Alasdair says:

    “… in my cerebellum, located next to my limbic system not to be confused with my medulla oblongatta …” – I don’t think any confusion is likely given the difference in function that each part is responsible for, as for people who are confused, well, I mean, guffaw!! :lol:

    An interesting post (good luck in the triathlon, btw ;) ), but I’d like to relate the other side of the coin … the pessimistic side if you will. Apparently the Scots, as a race, are inclined to pessimism and I have heard it argued that it prepares us for life’s inevitable pit-falls and as such we are unlikely to be put off when it ‘all goes wrong’, whereas over optimism can lead to crushing deflation when it ‘all goes wrong’ …

    … I think healthy measures of each are probably best :)

    oh, and ibuprofen, definitely :lol:

  2. Chantal says:

    I was reading your post and thinking: Yes, good, I can teach my kids optimism! Then I thought, wait a minute, in order for me to teach it, don’t I have to live it first? THEN I thought, I’m optimistic most of the time, but I never really thought of how I can give this to my children other than leading by example. This can leave a parent with the feeling that if they don’t have a certain set of skills or feel that they are lacking in personality traits, they can’t teach this to their children….
    So what if I’m not optimistic ALL the time? As long as I keep trying to be.

    Now I can put into words my own experiences with optimism for them. And I’ll use your optimistic feet as a springboard!

    (all the best in the triathlon…)

  3. Anita Marie says:

    When my sons were little I’d come home from work and tell them about what I saw out there in the world, you know, stories about the people I’d meet or the stories I’d heard or the jokes I’d learned or the stuff I saw on my way home.

    Little snapshots- see what I mean? And for the most part most of what I told them was good, I guess I was showing them that I enjoyed my day, my life and I wanted to share it with them.

    Now days I’d have to say that as young men my boys have a good time being who they are and when it’s not good they do what they can to make it better.

    – good like in September Charlie.

  4. Jan says:

    Yes, energy flows where attention goes. It’s always good to focus on the good stuff. Or the old indian legend about whichever dog you feed grows larger. But man, you can know that, but living it isn’t that easy and teaching it to your kids even harder.

  5. Cabana Boy says:

    I like the fact that you are not denying the irritant, trying to sweep it under the rug, or pretend it away! I think irritants serve a purpose, but I like the way you handled it. It sounds like you gave it enough credit (a mile’s worth) to evaluate whether or not it posed any undue risk, and when you decided it was safe to continue, you say you focused on what was in your favor. I haven’t retained the particulars of the brain functions associated with each part, but it sounds like you got “happier” :) I recently heard someone describe happiness as the natural result when one thinks the circumstances of their life are in their favor. Your story struck the same chord. Good post!

  6. Charlie says:

    AL: “… I think healthy measures of each are probably best”

    Chantal: “So what if I’m not optimistic ALL the time? As long as I keep trying to be.”

    AMM: “and when it’s not good they do what they can to make it better.”

    Jan: “energy flows where attention goes”

    CB: “I think irritants serve a purpose”

    I’m luck to have such wise friends. You folks are a bunch of smarties. I love reading your posts and always look forward to your comments. Thank you for putting the finishing touches on mine.


  7. Pingback: disposition to a position of opposition « man about the house

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