On Running: Documented Experiences
I find it interesting that so many people who read this column don't run. After all, it is a column about running, isn't it?
I'm a runner deep down in the core of my person, and I think I've earned the right to say that. In many respects, the words on these pages have documented the experiences that have made me who I am, not just as a runner, but as a person too. My running and my life are forever intertwined.
I would dare to say that every positive quality I possess has either been formed or strengthened through running. If not for running, I would be but a fraction of who I am today. I know that sounds far reaching and maybe you can't understand, but it is true nonetheless.
And, as much as running has contributed to my success, even more, it has enhanced my well being. That's not something I sought to gain from running, it just happened.
Imagine the sense of accomplishment you might feel by making time in the day to do something good for yourself - something that most people aren't willing to do. Imagine how you might feel if you did that everyday for a week, and then for a month. Imagine if you did that for as long as you could remember. How would that make you feel about yourself?
And on the most difficult days, when it was cold, or hot, when it was windy and rainy, what if you didn't make excuses? And, when something was pulling your attention elsewhere, and it would be easy to let yourself off the hook, what if you didn't? How would that impact your ability to deal with adversity?
Running has taught me that the relief that comes from taking the easy road is short lived, but that the rewards that come from challenging yourself endure. It's taught me the pleasure of a gift is fleeting, but that satisfaction earned is lasting.
I'm not sure most people understand that. The world if filled of short cuts and handouts. Assigning responsibility to someone else is commonplace. And yet, when it comes to your own happiness and contentment, delegating is not an option. You've got to find that for yourself.
Of course, I find joy in many things, like the people I love, but nothing else in my life could ever be as good if I wasn't happy with myself. And, for me, nothing has enhanced my self-worth quite like running has.
This column is about more than running; it's about valuable lessons that I've learned through running. It's about principles that, when applied consistently, can guide a person toward success.
Life can seem pretty complicated, but it doesn't have to be that way. It can be as simple as taking a step in the right direction, finding a path to run on, and then paying attention to the truth and the wisdom that comes along.
And, whether you run or not, if you think that what I've learned while I was running can help you find your own way, by all means, keep reading.
Dave Griffin writes a bi-weekly running column and offers coaching to high school and adult runners of all levels. Contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org