Monday, February 7, 2011

What’s with this Running Obsession? - Helpful Reminders

I asked a friend of mine if they thought I was obsessed about running.  Their answer was yes…stating that I seemed to jump from activity to activity.  One just naturally leading to another and that it was very clear when I was “into” something.  He also stated that sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes it’s a bad thing but that he did think I went overboard.  It was interesting that he said it could make me one dimensional.  That was one that I had never heard before.  He said that if you only talk about one thing than you possibly alienate others who are not “into” the same thing.  

Unfortunately he is right, to a degree.  Maybe I have gone overboard, maybe.  But I see it as a season.  I know in June/July I am all about cycling…it’s been that way since 2002 because the tour de France is on versus and yes I am the guy who wakes up super early to hear all about the teams the performances and hopefully catch some of the webcast.  Traditionally during winter I simply eat a ton.  For Mexicans its "tamales" season and those go straight to the ol’ gut.  Since I can remember I would gain 10 – 15 lbs. during this time and then I would transition into spring.  Spring I tended to start slow to work my way back to cycling in the summer.  I would start with some team sports like softball tournaments that would get me out but not kill me after my winter hibernation.  More recently (3 years approx) I started playing golf more frequently because warmer and I can hit balls most days in the spring.  The ball goes further in good weather and it makes no sense to be miserable and play during the winter.   

Why would I pay $60 bucks to play a course during the winter to have shorter distances, shabby courses and less daylight to play?  During winter you always…ALWAYS get stuck behind one of two golfers…the never quit guy who hacks at the ball all day and it takes him 40 strokes to get onto the green and an hour to read the wrong break, or the overachiever child and parent.  Since Tiger would go play at three, so do all children, and its not like you can tee off and fire at the back of a toddlers’ head.  I really wanted to take out the parent for not letting me play through but that’s a different story.

So going with the comment, yeah this running thing is new for me and maybe even an obsession.   I have run through heat, rain, and cold, dirt and road…it’s like this thing does not have a season like everything else I am into.  Maybe that is why it is seem by some of my friends as an obsession and I am ok with that.  My day is long and the only time that my brain gets a break is when I run.  When I run it’s all about being efficient and focusing on the next step, that’s it.  Pressure from work, school, family…the hundreds of pages I am supposed to read this week…bills…phone calls…texts…all the trivialities are life are closed for that time and I am free.   

This obsession helped me get over a lot of sadness and tragedy in my life.  These moments to breathe I see clearly.  I see what I want my life to be.  I want to be better.  I want to be a good person not only for me but for others.  I want my life to mean good and spread positivity and not hostility.  The mental breaks my mind takes allows it to think outside the little box I keep it locked in all day at work and at school.  This break keeps me humble, keeps me honest and it translates that humility and honestly to my relationships with others.  My brain can breathe, it can take a pause and the endorphins are not to shabby either.

My “obsession” is also infecting others.  Others around me are talking about miles and shoes as opposed to liquor and drugs its like an epidemic and others are catching it.  My obsession is helping to change people for the good.  My obsession is helping me motivate not only myself but others.  Instead of going to happy hour we are organizing trail runs/hikes.  Instead of talking about the next company party or next crazy night in Vegas we are talking about the next goal, the next race, and the next milestone.

It made me so excited but felt so foreign to have someone tell me that I motivated them on the run.  I always have seen myself as a jerk or at best a stand offish nerd.  I have never seen myself as a motivator much less an inspiration to get off the couch, but some people close to me have expressed this sentiment and all I can say is that they are infected as well.  They are infected not with running, but with trying to be better people.  For me this running thing has helped, it makes me want to keep going no matter what.

Now tonight I had a reminder that I still have a long long way to go.  I unintentionally was causing someone grief.  This person means a lot to me and I would never want to cause or add to anyone's plate, unless I am serving awesome food..which could hypothetically happen, just saying.  I was being narrow minded and had tunnel vision regarding what actions or inaction to take.  Thankfully this person being a lot wiser than I am shared their thoughts and really put the spotlight on my ignorance.  For me it was a blessing in disguise, i was being rather heartless even though i did it with the best intentions.  Maybe i just need to become more aware of others instead of just reacting to them? We'll see.

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