“A pioneer extends the boundaries of the possible and violates the laws of the impossible.”- Brian Houston
“Every expedition requires a first step.”- Me
This week is the first official week of my 18 week Cleveland Marathon Training Plan. I am once again following Hal Higdon’s plans, with some slight modifications made to accommodate my runstreak and my current schedule. You don’t have to run the designated miles exactly on the designated days. Like anything in life that you will stick to, you take the plan as a template and then become flexible to actually make it happen. I’ve learned that to successfully be a Marathon runner you must embrace the entire training season as an organic organism that needs proper attention, nourishment, and dedication, but that also needs to find a way to exist in the reality of my world.
My personal modifications, as of now, are to run a 5K warm up for strength training on the cross training day (I may even up my bicycling this summer because running high mileage weeks at the peak of marathon training takes its toll on my hips and just do 1 mile run/_____mile bike ride on cross training day just to satisfy the streak.), and I run 2 miles every Sunday at 5AM on my “off” running day.
Running is a way for me to explore not just nature, but the depths of my brain and the heart of God. I think many of us just get stuck in ruts because life is hectic, we get very little fresh air, and we are always dreaming and never doing. Running is the marriage of dreams and actions and endorphins.
Children don’t have the rut problem. They are full of life, zest, zeal, energy, and all of the confidence in the world. However, at a certain point, around 2nd grade they start believing the scripts that other people try to write for them. They start thinking that maybe their dreams are too great or that they are too fat or that they are too slow. They start asking questions about money and worrying about how they line up with their peers. Essentially, they learn to start living in safety and using others a gauge for their happiness and success instead of exploring every whimsy that comes along. Each year brings a new opportunity to encounter a negative word from a bully and the inevitable experience of a crushing life circumstance starts reinforcing to them that the world is perhaps not the personal oyster that they thought it was.
Fear starts to take over.
Average starts to set in.
The call of mediocrity and the siren song of “fitting in” beckons.
The child that use to peek under the public bathroom stall out of simple curiosity of what is on the other side, becomes a citizen of polite society. What starts as good parenting (obviously you don’t want your 12-year-old watching people use public bathrooms. That will get them arrested.) and protective guidance, can quickly turn a pioneer into a cog in life’s machine. Parents inadvertently choke out their child’s inner Christopher Columbus.
If you have felt the call of the wild. If you have felt the urge to do something beyond what you think is in the realm of possibility for you, just do it. It only takes one step. One small decision today will snowball into an action tomorrow that will catapult you into becoming the person you always dreamed you could be but that life had convinced you was no longer possible.
Maybe I am just crazy, but I believe that you can reinvent yourself continuously. Pursuing passions and dreams and finding yourself again through exploration will put you in the driver’s seat of your life and reduce that feeling of being a victim in your personal storyline. You are the author. You decide your trajectory.
If you can find a way to forge into the unknown and bring others along with you, you will find contentment. Safe is boring. If you don’t explore your dreams, feelings, and goals because of a fear of failure, your life in 9 years will look exactly as it does today, perhaps even less adjusted. A lack of exploration and a lack of trying new things will keep you exactly how you are right now or send you into decline with unrequited ambition.
So, today, revert back to toddler hood, peek under the bathroom stall (not literally……….please) and see what new people there are to meet and what new adventures there are to be had. You won’t regret it!