Baby Steps, part 3

Victims count grows in New Orleans Mother’s Day shooting

Sigh. These headlines are getting old and really do a number on a person’s outlook of the world, my own included.

While we certainly cannot ignore the bad stuff going on… we can’t let it blind us to all the good, either. For it is the good that will eventually take over the bad, if we can all make a conscious effort to just be good to each other. (Deal?)

Live and let live, as they say.

Over the past week, through various channels, the universe seems to have presented that specific theme to me in a way. One of living your life to the fullest and doing what truly makes you happy… no matter what anyone else thinks. To set aside fear and negativity… and BE in each moment. Enjoy each moment. Finding your strength and living your truth. Because you just don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so why waste any more time?

I’ve signed up for a couple of 5k runs this summer, but have done virtually no training. I do some half-assed sprints every once in awhile on the treadmill, but that’s about it. I keep THINKING about how I want to become a runner. I envision myself knocking off a few miles after work or on a Saturday morning, but I haven’t really done anything to make it happen.

This afternoon, I took the first step. I stepped on the familiar lakeside path I love so much and just started to run. I kept an eye on my heart-rate monitor and pushed myself to go harder. I didn’t make it very far. I think I headed into the jaunt thinking I’d just power through a painful few miles… but I couldn’t. I walked a bit, then ran some more. Walk, run, walk, run. In the end, I probably ran half of the 3 mile lap.

“That was f’n hard,” I said to myself as I walked back to my car, my heart rate returning to normal. Running outside is much harder than on the treadmill, I quickly learned (thanks again, Captain Obvious).  I took a swig from the bottle of water I’d left on my front seat 40 minutes earlier. And while those miles were hard, I couldn’t wait to try it again. Next time I’ll run a little farther and walk a little less. And the next time after that, I’ll be even stronger.

BABY STEPS, you guys. I keep saying it. It applies to everything you want to achieve. Just a small push a little farther out of your comfort zone each day, bit-by-bit, will eventually grow into something wonderful. And it doesn’t have to be fitness related, even though that’s the example I keep using.

It could be pitching a new concept at work that eventually turns into a whole new career path. It could be showing up at a pick-up game where you know no one and meeting people who would eventually become awesome friends. It could be texting someone you can’t stop thinking about on a whim to come meet you on a Friday night rather than just wondering what they are up to.

Or, as in my case, it could be huffing and puffing your way around a local lake… and eventually running a full race like you’ve always wanted to do. Fear kept me from trying before… fear of failing, fear of the grueling work, fear of potential injuries. But my strength pushed me through the first step and will continue to push me through the ups and downs. In running… and in everything life throws at me.

Fear and strength constantly push and pull at each other in our lives…. and when we finally recognize the relationship between the two… we find true balance. We find happiness. We find our own peace in our own lives. And once we find those things, who really has the time for anger and hate?

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