Because of high temps and high humidity, I paused frequently between stretches to drink water. The extra pre-hydration lets me get a couple of miles in before I start feeling the need for water. A frozen water bottle would cover me for the rest of today’s run.
Even after stretching, I felt a little tight. So, I started the run a few notches below target pace to allow my legs to get completely warm and loose.
After a mile and a half, I made a turn off my planned route without thinking. By the time I realized the mistake, it made no sense to turn around. However, my mindless detour was going to deliver me back home about a mile too soon for my daily distance goal. So, I had to improvise and zig-zag down streets and through neighborhoods where I had never traveled. I rather enjoyed the discovery while accidentally satisfying a little bit of wanderlust.
Eventually, I found my way to a park with lots of trails that would take me back home slightly above my distance requirement.
All in all, a hot, beautiful day for a great morning run.
The Mind (Thoughts While Running):
On my morning run, I chose to direct my mind back to a day earlier this week that was unusually demanding from the start. By 9 AM, I had already moved through a normal day’s worth of challenges. I was feeling a peculiar mix of exhilaration and weariness. As I moved on to the next task on the day’s critical path, suddenly and without warning, I found myself face to face with a ghost from my past. For a few quick seconds, I considered retreat. But I decided to quietly endure the encounter.
Fortunately, the situation quickly passed and moved into the wings of my mind. Even so, the earlier stresses of the day became minor. I remained silently shaken.
So again, I decided to use today’s time in my outdoor cathedral to focus my thoughts forward towards closure.
As I began striding, I briefly allowed my thoughts to go back to this ghostly painful time in my life. Initially, the memory burned. However, over the next mile or so, I considered it in the context of where I am today. And I connected the dots backwards. In this light, I was able to give new, positive meaning and clarity to a previously shadowy decision. Oddly, the new view is also more accurate.
This thinking reinforced my personal belief that lengthy dwelling on the past is wildly unhealthy, regardless if the past is positive or otherwise. Doing so, people tend to let some choice or event from the past define who they are today.
I reminded myself that I am not the same person today that I was at any point of my past. That is true for everyone. So, why would I allow myself to be defined or measured by a fading standard that has little relevance (if any at all) to where I am today. Or better yet, any relevance to the direction I have chosen. It would be like letting my intellectual pursuits today be impacted by a chemistry test that I failed in high school. A setback then, but no bearing on today.
With this new perspective, I could see no reason to keep company with an unnecessarily weighty apparition. So with a bit of euphoria (mostly driven by a runners high), I buried the old ghost in the land of lessons learned.
Gratefully letting go, I was able to thoroughly enjoy the morning light and fresh air with fuller strides and higher energy.
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