Lessons from the Pavement, Part III: To Thine Own Self Be True

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this…I’m NOT a runner!  For me to get myself in exercise mode, put on those workout clothes, strap on the Nano, grab the stopwatch, and step outside and run — even in intervals — and to do this voluntarily — well I know this is big — for me.  It is not easy, it is not always fun, but I am doing it, and I am doing it for myself.

At this point in time, I am not really caring about how fast I run, not caring about how graceful I look (or don’t – as long as my limbs and extremities stay safe), just caring that I am doing it, and that I am (for the most part) maintaining a positive attitude.  That inner voice continues loud and clear, “You can do this.  You are doing this.  Keep going.  Find your pace.  Keep your pace.  Thirty more seconds.  You can do this.”  So even when I don’t feel the same level of energy as the day before, or the crest of the mountainous hill seems impossible to reach, I continue.

Today was definitely one of those days when I needed to listen closely to the inner voice, because otherwise the temptation to stop the music, stop the stopwatch, and stop running was too great.  As I was mentally applauding myself for completing another interval of running (while also recovering my breath), “ZHOOM” a blur of blue and white sailed past me…a fellow runner, but not just any runner, a pro-looking runner.  This guy had the running shorts, the bottle strapped to the back, the runner’s look — everything — and not to mention the fact that he just SAILED right past me.  Admittedly, lots of thoughts came to mind, “He’s cool because he has cool shorts.  Look how graceful he looks.  What great form he has!  I’ll never run like that [whine]!”  Then I had to stop myself.  Sure, maybe all those things were true – you know, the shorts, the look, the form, the speed, but were those my reasons for being out here? NO!  Back to the encouraging voice, “Look at you – you’re doing it.  You’re running — something you never thought you’d be doing, and you’re doing it!  Right now it doesn’t matter how fast you’re going, what you look like while doing it [thinking about Phoebe’s famous running form in Friends], or what you’re wearing — what matters is that you’re out here, you’re doing it, and you’re doing it your way!  Keep it up.  You can do this.”  I love that voice!  I love the reminder – and Shakespeare, thanks for the words from “Hamlet”.  [BTW – for more about this speech, check out this blog]

“This above all: to thine own self be true,  And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.  Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!”

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