I was introduced to this concept earlier this week at a program on anxiety. The facilitator Dr. Mark Schneider Ph.D, spoke on the differences of “wanting” and “willing” to do something. This struck a chord with me because I’ve always been fascinated with how some people will go through hell and back to accomplish something whereas others say they want something but can’t seem to get it…
Which calls to mind the many individuals who’ve crossed my path either as a student or a fellow martial artist — All seemingly wanting the same goal but ultimately most weren’t willing to achieve the goal of black belt. Ironically it had nothing to do with the individual’s ability or aptitude for martial arts most of the people who dropped out where very talented; In fact most of the students who struggled and learned from their presumed failures went on to become very good practitioners.
Then there was today. My training run just a short 2plus miles around the neighbor hood and I had to will myself into going. I’ve been working ridiculous hours in and out of the school without a break since January. I’m mentally and physically spent. Yet I knew if I could lace up my running shoes and take two steps out the door I’d get the work out in. You see I’m willing to run to get what I want; good health, energy, a better mood, and maybe a fairly inspired blog post.
There are so many amazing individuals who will themselves to amazing things everyday. So my quick trip around the neighborhood is hardly newsworthy but it made me appreciate myself more. It made me feel better, and far less sorry for myself. So the next time you think about wanting something think about what you’re willing to do for it? Then as the ad says “Just Do It” or at least be willing to try!
I set out on my usual Wednesday 2 miler, looking forward to clearing my head, working up a sweat and trying to gain some perspective on what’s been a crazy start to 2018.
Running does all of the above, it’s my antidepressant, my fat burner, and my Gingko Biloba. Which is why most of these blogs are written soon after returning from my runs. Today’s hill thought is no exception. If you’ve been following my journey please excuse the next bit explaining how I started and where I am now (first I will be turning 61 in about six weeks, I’m a former nurse, who is a master teacher/owner of a martial arts school who decided to run a half marathon to celebrate her 60th year). I’ve run on and off since 1991 but didn’t become seriously committed to running until training for the half.
Now back to the hills during my training and until very recently I walked slogged up most large hills. Then it occurred to me that I’m running six miles with relative ease the hills are no longer a physical but a mental challenge. That’s when I start using my soft eyes technique (borrowed from meditation). You simply direct your gaze to only a few feet in front of you. Focusing just a few feet kept me from seeing the size and steepness of the hill. I felt the shift in the incline much like on a treadmill but maintain my narrow focus to the task at hand running a few more feet. I’ve taken this lesson into my busy life, I try not to look at the enormity of a task or event, I maintain my focus on smaller tasks that will lead to completing or solving the challenge. Yes there are unexpected obstacles but just like the physical obstacles along my run I navigate them to the best of my ability and stay away from worry of completion just trusting that one step at a time will tackle any hill as long as I remain focused and committed…
Enjoy the process, the results are usually worth it!
I ran six miles today and it’s February 4th! That was my “Big Game”. To think a year ago I wouldn’t have entertained running in February – Maybe on a treadmill (then again this time last year it would have been 30 minutes of walking on a treadmill.)
Why is any of the above relevant? My point is no matter how old or where you are in you head-space you can change your thoughts. I hated winter and made all those around me fully aware of my feelings – I’d start whining in December and would continue to piss and moan through Easter. I would put on 5 to 10lbs every winter mostly through less exercise but also stress eating. I’d be checking the fifteen day forecast more often than a broker checks the market. My mood would be as cold as the weather.
What changed? My attitude — I decided to run a half marathon. That goal got me to the gym and on the treadmill last winter and onto the roads this past spring and summer. I became a different person losing 15lbs, running more seriously 3 times per week; two shorter training runs and a long run on Sundays, getting to 12 miles before the half. I didn’t want to give up all that I gained so this year I got winter running gear. I’ve been running when the weather or road conditions cooperate or hit the gym if the weather is bad. I’m still checking the 15 day forecast not so I can complain but so I can schedule my running. My attitude toward winter has changed, not that I love it but I found an appreciation for the rests it affords.
Winter teaches me that I’m not totally in control of what happens but I am in control of how I react to what happens.
I’ve taken advantage of the snow days and got a lot of paper work done, reading, listened to pod casts, watched Ted Talks. Things that I’d have less time to do in better weather. I’m finding more happiness in simple things like just sitting with my cat, building a puzzle with my 94 year-old neighbor, taking my mother to visit my aunt or sharing the bike path with a squirrel, sparrows, and a red tail hawk.
Dr Wayne Dyer was right “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
What are you looking at now?
Last year I chose inspire the word for “My Intent bracelet”. This year I chose CREATE – I want to continue my momentum from 2017, building my inspirations into creations.
This past year had many wonderful highlights including training and completing a half marathon, reaching my goal weight, being in the best shape of my life. There was the travel to NYC, Las Vegas, Az, Boston and Nantucket. Time with family and friends along with new friends made.
There were challenges as any year brings but I feel better about my ability to face them.
2018, my intentions are to CREATE more adventures, complete more challenges, give more to my students, family, friends and community…
Blessings to all remember you create your own reality, we all control how we react to the things that happen to us. Choose to react positively!
My latest Shutterfly creation was a place mat with the above picture with the words “Make Fireworks Every Day”. This is to remind myself to give my best in all aspects of my day.
Somedays this might be a 200% goal reached on my Apple Watch’s activity app, a new personal distance ran. It could be learning something new about teaching, martial arts, childhood development, nutrition, or just general knowledge. Sometimes it’s giving incredible service at my business, inspiring my martial art students to be their very best. Then again it could be assisting an elderly neighbor who’s locked themselves out of their apartment, helping an aging parent with their chores. We can make fireworks by being a shoulder to a friend in need of one, supporting a charity with a donation or volunteering.
There are millions more ways we can create fireworks, (the good kind) – Which is why every morning with my breakfast I look up and see a small sign that says “There is always something to be grateful for” and now when I look down I see fireworks and my mission for the day; To make each day count, to be better than I was yesterday, to spread love, kindness and inspiration to all I meet… In other words MAKE FIREWORKS EVERYDAY!
Do you have a morning mantra, mission statement or ritual? If yes please share, I’d love to hear how you’re making fireworks…
My favorite day of the year is not my birthday, Christmas or any other recognized holiday it is the 3rd Sunday in September! This when the CVS Downtown 5K is held.
A road race I hear you asking, what’s so special about that? Where do I begin? Maybe it’s that children, and adults of all ages, shapes and sizes can run with Olympians. It could be the bands along the way — Then it might be the excellent pizza at the end of the race or the great giveaways. Perhaps it’s how incredibly organized it is and the awesome volunteers. It isn’t any of those obvious things (although all true).
What makes the CVS 5K so awesome, is people coming together to have fun, being with friends, and family, accomplishing a goal, doing something healthy (aside from the pizza). My friend said it best today “It’s the best thing about America.” Standing as one as the anthem is played , people thanking the police along the way, watching policemen high five a cranky child. Everyone trying their best whether they finish under 15 minutes or over 60 minutes. It is encouraging fellow participants along the way or being encouraged, as I was today to make it up the last big hill by a young gentleman who gave me a hug and a high 5 at the end. It was a race. In fact it was the 5k national championship. But for the rest of us it was more about the human race. I guess I keep coming back because it renews my faith in what is good, where the only left and rights are turns. Where we can share a common goal and celebrate together as one team…
Yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause and he’s probably running among the rest of us on the 3rd Sunday in September…
You can say this past Sunday I went to church with over 5000 people! It wasn’t your typical church in fact there wasn’t even a building – We did have a Friar who lead us in prayer before the “mass” took off. This congregation met on the streets of Providence RI for the CVS 5K; an event which has turned into a pilgrimage for me and for many others.
The similarities of church and running a race may not be evident for people who don’t run: Yet for those of us who do it is one of the most uplifting services we attend. As runners/walkers we are sharing our faith in putting one foot in front of the other knowing at the end there will be a finish line where we will reunite with one another to share in the glory of our struggle – Sound a little like heaven?
The race as a metaphor for our lives on earth isn’t the only common thread. There is the sense of communion, it might be pizza and water instead of bread and wine, but the feeling of gratitude and being blessed is the same at least for me. Good Samaritans abound; volunteers, and fellow runners looking after one another; all of this taking place while the rain ends,clouds part and the sun shines! If that isn’t “Divine Intervention” I don’t know what is?
The runners/walkers weren’t the only ones who were blessed by the day anyone who witnessed and shared in the glory were inspired by faith, hope and love!