Friday, December 27, 2013

Exercise in Patience

Today's treadmill workout was an exercise in patience as much as it was an exercise of my muscles or cardio system.  I got on the treadmill for a one hour workout.  I ran at 7.5 or 7.6 miles per hour the whole time.  And I reached 7.5 miles (the intended distance with a constant 8 minute mile) with one second to go.  That was because I wanted to make sure I reached the distance.  Part of the flick up to 7.6 miles per hour every once in a while was to make sure I reached my distance before the time was up (1 hour is the default workout) and part of the flick up to 7.6 miles per hour every once in a while was because every treadmill takes time to get to up to speed.  So I always have to do a little adjusting to make sure I reach my intended distance at the intended time.

In any case, running for that long on a treadmill at essentially the same pace is an exercise in patience.  I am tempted to run faster.  I have to resist the temptation to do so, however.  If I do, I open myself up more to injury.  Not that I have had any serious injury in quite some time, but why risk it.

I usually do math.  How many minutes?  How many seconds?  How many gone?  How many left?  What percentage?  When will I hit the next milestone? I even took to counting steps today and found that in a minute I take about 160 steps so that a one hour workout will be a total of about 9,600 steps.  That is pretty amazing.

At the end of one hour today, here is how I looked.  You can't really tell how sweaty my leg is, but trust me, after an hour in a relatively warm fitness room, there were drops of sweat all over the treadmill.  And then, I bundled up with a dry t-shirt, that good old 1985 Upper Darby Cross Country sweatshirt, and the Heather Hurd 5K headband.  It was a morning of things past and things future as the tattoo is significant of both, the sweatshirt and headband are past, the shirt I wore for the workout was also past (from a former student in Ireland).  But, when I run, I run forward and that is always looking into the future.  I know how many miles I have run this year: 1832 in 256 days of running.  Assuming I run each of the remaining days on vacation that will be 260 days of running for the year (essentially 5 days per week) with each run being on average a bit over 7 miles.  That is a lot of time spent running.  I'll have to see whether I can do the same next year or not.  But I hope to continue to set and meet new goals--fitness and otherwise, so I am certainly doing to try.

There are many goals. I have talked about new year's resolutions on a FB note or my blog each year for the past 3 or 4 and I will reflect again this year in a few days.

But one thing that came to mind yesterday that I found I have been returning to multiple times lately is the prayer of St. Francis.  A friend and fellow runner/blogger put up a post yesterday that said "Better to be the one who smiled than the one who didn't smile back." It made me think of the prayer of St Francis.  It has lines like let me seek to console more than to be consoled.  Let me see to understand more than to be understood.  So, I figured a person could add "Let me see to smile at others more than to be smiled at."  

That is really a good plan for life.  Give.  Give.  Give  And when the time comes for you to need to ask others to give back if you have given consistently, there will almost always be people there.  People who can give back in ways that I may never have imagined.  People who are more than willing to give back because of all that I gave along the way.

There is a refrain--the more you put into life, the more you get out of it.  I certainly felt that this year.  There were numerous friends who had job issues, marriage issues, business issues, or running issues.  I was there for them as I could be.  And when there were times I needed to tap into other people's wisdom and kindness, I was able to do so.

I smiled and got smiled back at.

I understood and was understood.

I consoled and was consoled.

Numerous friends have talked about simply surrounding oneself with good people.  The rest will take care of itself.  While it is not always exactly that simple, it goes a long way.

Coming back to where I started with an exercise in patience--the relationships that one must build to live life surrounded by others who share values and who share goals and who are "good" do not always come in a day or overnight.  Sometimes they require weeks, months, or years of development.  But with investment, patience, and an awareness of how special the outcome can be (of a well built friendship or of well build fitness) the ultimate goal and ultimate answer will be strong and amazing. 

But while

I was running, in addition to showing patience and resisting the urge to go faster, I was ponder  

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