Sunday, September 1, 2013

40 Days to Better

Today, I took my fourth day in a row off from running.  I had not planned to take that many days off in a row.  But, after an extra long run last weekend, I got busy at work, and I spent time with the wife and kids that I would not trade for any running accomplishment.  Over time, I will continue to work out how to balance everything I want to do, but since Thursday Sherry, sleeping in while camping, the kids, (even the dog who we took camping with us), and work were more important.

But as I looked at my calendar, I also noticed something.  After today and before the Baltimore running festival, there are exactly 40 days.  40 days has a lot of symbolism.  Of course, it all began with Noah.  And I sang along with the Hooters song in high school that mentioned it.  Then there is Lent every year.  Then there is the worship band that I played with at church for parts of 7 years that was called 40 More Days.  The past two Lenten seasons, I have tried to blog for 40 days in a row.

But this 40 Days is a bit more meaningful in a number of ways.  First, with the relatively new position and the kids making big choices in the coming year, I have a different focus.  I don't have a marathon on the horizon for more than a year--if ever.  (Although all my close running friends think I will be back.)  Without a marathon on the horizon, I didn't run the 20 mile race this Labor Day weekend that I had run the last three.  That has me more focused as I have been keeping myself in pretty good shape since the Boston Marathon and keeping my weight pretty well under control, but with the four days of not running, a lot of sweet food while camping, and an important half marathon on the horizon with 40 days between now and then, I started thinking.

What can I do?

No simple answers to that one.  But in addition to making sure that I have the best run I can have after 40 days, I also want to make it bigger.  I want to have the best run.  But I also want to be a better dad.  A better husband.  A better neighbor.  Better at my job.  Better at teaching Sunday school.  Generally use this time of focus and discernment to make myself a better person.

And what is the most important thing I could do along those lines?

Probably take the lesson I have consistently been able to bring to fruition for running--improve through practice and bring things to closure for the race--and take that to the rest of my life.  If I could remember that I've only improved my running in my early 40's by doing it over and over again and take that with me to other things in life, then I could do a lot with that.  And if I could take the fact that I also raise the bar on my running and then taper and then execute for the race to other things in my life, that would help as well.

To be a better person in 40 days, I could learn a lot from being a better runner.  Not that running should dominate.  Just that the lessons extend.

I can't wait to see where the next 40 days take me.

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