Tuesday, October 1, 2013

40 Days to Better: Day 30

This morning, I ran what I can only describe as one of my most incredible track workouts ever.  I ran 4x2400 (that is six laps for each interval), with my friend Brian who is aiming for a sub-3 hour marathon.  We ran each of the six lap intervals at a 6:30/1600m (approximately a mile) pace.  It was a great workout with a wonderful sense of accomplishment.  

During the workout we had another Back on My Feet affiliated runner do the first 1200 of each 2400 with us.  He ran the same pace as us.  Brian commented on not feeling like he could possibly complete the workout when he woke up but realizing that we had planned the run for today came out.

While I didn't express exactly the same thing, I did note that after the large dinner I had at the Lebanese Taverna last night, the lamb still felt it was sitting in my stomach.  As a result, I didn't think I would be able to complete the workout either, but came out because we had planned it together.

This is a minor example of having to make the type of choice I described yesterday--between walking away and trying harder.  This was just about a hard workout, but nevertheless a simple run.  Still, it was a challenge that both Brian and I rose to meet.  

That is a lesson for me.  In things where I can complete a task myself, I can simply choose to rise to the challenge.  It could be running still.  (Although life is not all about running.)  It could be about work.  It could be about teaching.  Walking away in these cases would mostly be a disappointment to myself.  Perhaps to a supervisor or coworker or student.  That is not to say that I would completely discount these relationships.  I see my work as a fundamental part of me.  I see my teaching as a fundamental part of me.  And I see my running (particularly after getting a tattoo) as a fundamental part of me.

But there are many activities in life that take more than one person to complete.  Those include parenting, marriage, and friendship.  In many of those cases, both people need to rise to the challenge.  But in those cases, if I don't rise to the challenge and try harder than it doesn't matter if the other person does.  

Sometimes the goal is not as clear as a specific time in running.

I am lucky enough to say that I have been able to meet many of my running goals.  Sometimes, the goals is not as easy to reach as my running goals.  

But at the end of the day I have to remember that it is worth trying ten times (or more like one hundred times) as hard to preserve positive interpersonal relationships than to reach any running goal.

In the end, very few people will care how fast I ever ran anything (other than I ran Boston fast enough not to be near the chaos).  However, many people will hopefully remember me fondly when I am gone.  We have had numerous retirements/leavings in the business school since I joined and it is overwhelming to hear the respect that many of my colleagues have earned.    

That only comes from consistently trying harder rather than walking away.  

So, I go on the road to better attempting to consistently make the right choice.  But admitting that there have been plenty of wrong ones.  

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