Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happiness is a choice: I disagree

So I lied. By stating I would NOT be doing resolutions, it only increased the desire for change. Imagine that. This week, I'm going to put down some of my "words to live by" for 2012.

For years, I endured running without being a runner. I mastered mind games to finish the task at hand while avoiding engagement in the actual activity.
Two years ago, something changed inside. I was ready to learn. I was ready to improve. I was ready to engage. I wanted to be a runner. I chose to become one.
I had a lot to learn about running and, more importantly, a lot to learn about myself. Some of what I learned:

*The first couple of miles are always hard. It takes time to warm the body up.
*Long runs surpass the "warm up" time and therefore bring more enjoyment than a 3-miler.
*Heavy breathing makes me panic and lose confidence.
*Concentrating on/controlling breathing keeps my heart from jumping out of my chest.
*Lean forward and use my arms and core to get up a hill.
*Hills are hard but they don't constitute the whole run. Push through.
*Don't ever decide to end a run while on a hill.
*Hills make me strong.
*Running hills strongly is the perfect opportunity to get ahead in a race.
*Transitions are a weakness. Whether just turning a corner or going from incline to flat, I lose my rhythm. Hold tight til I regain it- it never takes as long as I think it will. 
*Don't be afraid when I feel a burst of energy- I don't have to maintain that speed for the whole run. Go for it and enjoy it while you're feeling it.
*Some days I feel strong physically. Some days I feel strong mentally. Optimal performance comes when I have strength from both, but as long as I have one resource, I can do it.
*My body is a lot more capable than I give it credit for. So is my mind.
*Finish the run. At the end of the end day, I'll never remember why I wanted to quit; I'll just remember the victory of finishing.

Today, I am a runner. By listening to my own body and then customizing my formula accordingly, I have gained the tools that work for me. I know my weaknesses, I know my strengths, I know where to go mentally when I want to give up, I know where to go physically when it hurts.  I know to be open to growth, change, learning, and improving. Most importantly, I know- succeed or fail- to get out there again tomorrow and TRY. I am a runner because through discipline, persistence, and dedication, I became one. Going on a run is a choice; becoming a runner is a series of choices.

And so it is with happiness- it is not a choice. Rather, it is a series of choices, fueled by discipline, persistence, and dedication. Inclusive are highs and lows, moments of enjoying and moments of enduring, experiences of overcoming countered with those of being humbled. But with perseverance, we learn our formula, which is custom to each individual, disclosed little by little as we go through the journey to obtain it. 

I love happiness. I want more of it. In 2012....I want to continue in that journey; today, I want to continue in that journey.

1 comment:

  1. You have taught me so much about running, its parallels with life, and you've taught me much about choosing to be happy. You're a wise one Gay.


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