Friday, January 27, 2012

A Week of Patience: Day 6: Finishing Last

This week has been more insightful than I could have expected. I thought I would simply post about patience and use the daily things happening around me to describe it in different ways. I like focus topics simply because they keep me focused. But really utilizing patience this week has allowed me to see it everywhere and realize that it's not black and white to just be patient about something. I'm seeing it on the surface and at great, great depths. I even realized that I've been pretty impatient about certain longer term goals in my life.

In other words, I'm feeling a little out of sorts and actually having trouble connecting my thoughts about this topic.

I went running this morning with a running group here in town. They do a 3 mile loop or a 5 mile loop and everyone runs at different paces. I knew my pace was slow. It always has been and unless I decide to change it, it always will be (little legs will only go so fast until you motivate them further.) I decided to challenge myself a little and do the 5 mile loop even though I haven't done more than 3 in a couple months. This was already a sore subject for me. Mentally I have this ability to run many, many miles, but I am not so ignorant to understand that without training, my body just doesn't want to do it anymore.
I therefore have been practicing patience with my body and allowing myself to go at a pace that feels challenging but not painful, knowing that with time and consistent running I will get my stamina back.

During this run I watched girls pass me, running together, breathing and chatting easily.  I would clearly be doing this on my own and hanging out in back, the last to finish the run. But I really didn't feel sorry for myself. In fact I was enjoying this run (albeit hilly and challenging for me.) I loved the sun, the sweat, the neighborhoods, and the sounds all around me. I practiced relaxing my face and calming my breathing. I remembered why I go running and why it speaks to me so deeply.

There was a time not too long ago that these moments would be agonizing. I never liked being last. I made excuses for myself. The heavy breathing and sore legs were irritating. And I always pushed to be a better runner so I could feel accomplished. I focused on perfection of the outcome rather than enjoyment of the journey. Thinking about how far I have come from that person was a very deep and personal reminder that in all different seasons of our lives we really do grow. I know you are all sick of hearing me talk about growth! But I feel as though growth and patience are deeply connected. Thinking of myself only less than a year ago and myself now, I realize that being patient with myself: allowing mistakes, taking chances that were scary, exposing my words, and being okay with failure has been a real gift. I really value who I am inside because of it.

Of all the chaos that has been thrown at me this week, I am immensely grateful for these moments of clarity. A year ago I would not have handled a week like this in the way that I am able to now.

Really ask yourself today if you are giving yourself the best opportunity to thrive. And be patient with all your mistakes, failures, and set backs. They are there as a tool for you to get stronger.

It's not always a bad thing to finish last.

BPositive and BPatient with all that contributes to your growth!

  by springknitter


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