Monday, June 4, 2012

Getting stronger and learning from mistakes.

Last week I was sitting in the middle school classroom sorting papers and at the same time listening to the 6th and 7th graders read from their health book.  They were reading aloud about goals.  There was so much information in the 20 minutes of reading, that I couldn't help but listen!  I heard a few things that stood out to me, but had the presence of mind to jot only one thing down, and at that be embarrassed if anyone would have seen me writing stuff I heard them reading from their text books.  Looking back on it now, I think "why would you be embarrassed?"  Hmmm, maybe I am not so grown up.  What I decided to note was where the author writes about learning from your mistakes, and not letting fear and disappointment control you.  As I pondered this thought I realized that, in fact, I do learn from my mistakes, and it took me the better half of 37 years to figure out how to do this, and I am talking about 36 years, as I  can give myself a good solid year.

  I guess it's like anything else that one sets out to do.  For instance I may tell myself I am going to pray that I realize when I am being tempted and not fall for that "banana in the tailpipe", but the very next time I may find myself indulging in the gossip, or letting something someone did stir me to anger, and forgetting to ask Jesus to take my focus of anger, until it is later than I would have liked it to been, then I am in the boat of repentance as opposed to feeling accomplished.  But each time I do that, it comes with a certain pain, or sting.  In much the same way that happens when learning the ins and outs of running.  If I forget to bring my water back pack on a 4.4 mile run, I have to hide my water bottle in the bushes and come round to it each mile or two.  Instead of beat myself up, I just know that it will be a long time before I forget my water backpack again!  Or trying to push myself up a steep incline for a mile (not sure what I was thinking) then beating myself up because I couldn't do it.  That is just plain pushing myself too hard.  With that I learned that doing the hardest thing isn't always the best thing.  I am also learning that yes, as hills make me stronger, there is a time and a place for them, and there are specific hills that I can let myself off the hook for taking on.

  Speaking of hills, I usually run smaller rolling hill types, and I can finally run my private road all the way into my house (took me about a month of running it to accomplish).  Strength comes from trying.  If I can't do it all in one shot the first time, or the second time, or even the third time, that doesn't mean I can't ever do it (a previous mindset of mine) nor does it mean I failed, it just means that each time I did do it, I got a little stronger, mentally and physically.  Running is one of the most rewarding "hard" things I have ever done.  I quoted the word hard because as I learn from my mistakes, and read helpful hints I find through friends, magazines, and becomes easier.  Not to mention all the conditioning of my body that has been happening over time.

  I was reading an article in Womans Running that highlighted some mistakes that new runners make.  The one that stood out to me was trying to do too much too soon.  (I looked up the word too in the dictionary, and I am still not sure I used it right UGH)  It also addressed not keeping time for the first six months.  Okay, so having the article six months ago could have maybe saved me from a few mistakes, but I did learn, and I have progressed.  I am just thankful for the information out there that is available to me.

  My two worst running fears.
1. injury
2. having to poop during a run (things they don't tell you about)

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