Monday, June 10, 2013

Out of Focus

"Contemplative simplicity isn't a matter of circumstances; it's a matter of focus."-- Ann Voskamp

As I went out for an evening run last night, I was just sort of off. Night time runs have a different set of obstacles than day runs. There is the heat radiating up instead of beating down, plus the bugs that go up your nose or in your mouth, and all of that is on top of having likely used up some of your energy throughout the day. I know some people love night runs because you can run the day away, and that would normally be the appeal for me too, but I didn't do anything yesterday, and I was able to stay on sidewalks that are cooler than asphalt. I did swallow several bugs, I stopped counting around 5, but that wasn't the problem either.

I kept playing over and over again in my head the things I have been seeing and hearing about a lot lately. I think that the tragedy in Boston has brought running to the forefront of peoples conversations temporarily, but the conversations went from outraged and inspired to do something, to apathy and downgrading. Honestly, I run for me. I am running in my grandma's memory this year as well, and even though I started out to prove my brothers wrong, in the end, I am running for my physical and mental health. However, it was really getting to me for some reason that I have seen people posting things and saying things about running being stupid.

I saw a comment saying that marathons are especially stupid because anybody can do it, and everyone just says, "I finished." There was a little more to it than that, but it just kept swirling around in my thoughts as I ran. I know there are a lot of people who think it's stupid that I run in general. I know people who think it's stupid that I keep doing it even though I am slow. I know other people who just think the marathon distance is ridiculous. I just kept thinking to myself, "What the heck am I doing?" I was starting to think they were right, and that I should just give up.

I eventually put it out of my mind, and then today I had a thought creep into my head. I realized that part of my year of thanksgiving in 2013 was to be a more positive person. And the specific comment on a social media site that was plaguing me? It wasn't even posted by someone I knew. Why did it even matter? Why was I thinking about that? I could have spent that whole run thinking about how thankful I am for all the amazing things I have! Why wasn't I thanking God that I have the ability to run in the first place? In the end, I know how much discipline it takes to train. I know how running has the ability to help me appreciate nature, mobility, and life. My focus was off. I shouldn't have been annoyed with the comments and conversations, and I definitely should not have let them get me down. I have so much to be thankful for, and running is one of those things. It's all a matter of focus.

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