Sometimes it’s a challenge — life — it gets hard at times. No I am not having health problems at the moment, and no I am not having money or relationship problems, no one is threatening me, and yes all of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are being met, but it doesn’t mean that life doesn’t get hard sometimes. Momentum still needs a PUSH at times to keep going, and I needed a PUSH.
The problem is that I get into my head too much at times, chasing rabbits down holes that honestly lead to inactivity creates a downward spiral of energy and the then the self-indulgence creeps in to create a pity party. All of a sudden I remembered a question that my friend Diana once asked me, “are you running towards something, or running away from something?” She asked this because I had been running a lot, not in the metaphorical way that we are all running around trying to get things done, but actually putting in the miles running with jogging shorts and running sneakers and the all the sundry of items that a real runner adds to their life.
That question has always stayed with me and creeps back into my mind at inappropriate or maybe they are always appropriate times. I say that because sometimes I don’t want to feel PUSHed, and that question for me has always been a PUSH. I have contemplated that question through many many miles on many many runs, and I realize that the question is totally valid if you are a destination runner, but I am an endurance guy; here let me explain the difference. It might be logical and a quick retort to say that we are running towards something, like a goal or an achievement, or something worthy and notable, but if you look deeper, there may be things that started you down that path to get away from feeling lazy, to run away from a un-fit lifestyle, away from inactivity. For me, it was getting away from a stagnation, a stagnation with my weight, with my relationships, with how I perceived myself which ultimately affected how I interacted with others, I was running away from the image I had of myself and the world around me. Though I was running away from something, I would never say that, because it didn’t sound positive, I would say I was running toward a goal to be fitter, that the solitude allowed me to rest, from relationships and from work, and gave me new motivation to be even more pumped for every day. These were the things that I was running towards, to be able to finish a marathon and to now continue an elusive goal of finishing a full Ironman (which will happen in 2018 – just watch me!).
But as an endurance guy I know that in reality, it is both all the time because the miles behind me are what I was running from and the miles before me are what I am running toward. But the only thing that really matters is that I keep on running. This is why running has become such a great analogy for LIFE for me, because it’s the same thing, the only moment that really matters is NOW and that we keep on moving, and even inactivity is a movement of sorts, it is a choice we make, and it affects our journey, but if we want to get more out of LIFE we need to take this moment and PUSH.
Yesterday in the morning it was raining pretty hard, and when I was putting on my running shoes and t-shirt, and looking for my hat to keep the rain out of my eyes, my wife said “do you really want to run in that rain?” and I said “No” – and guess what ——– I didn’t PUSH myself and I got back in bed with her and we watched a Hallmark TV movie and enjoyed the moment. (not what you would have expected out of me? – yeah, it happens more than I would like to admit). The day wore on and we did the things that we needed to do that day, and at 6:50 on this gloomy Sunday night, I put on my hat and shoes and put in my earphones and started running. It was raining, not hard but a constant drizzle that eventually soaks you to your bones. One of the first songs that I remember that came on was Chicago’s “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day”
I do believe I’m feelin’ stronger every day
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
I honestly felt STRONG, it was JUST what I needed, here was my PUSH, the hits kept whispering in my ear and the rain kept falling on my hat, but my feet kept pounding the pavement. I like FUNK and Rock and all sorts of music really, I like the upbeat tempo that keeps me in the groove, and soon Heatwave was playing “The Groove Line”
Pack your grip
Takin’ you on a trip
Ain’t no seats
All we got’s dancin’ feet
Leave your worries behind
‘Cause rain, shine
We’re ridin’ on the groove line tonight
And the music gods of Spotify were right, again PUSHing me with the lyrics because whether it was raining or shining I needed this, I needed to be OUT of the house, I needed to be PUSHing myself, I needed to feel POSITIVE. The answer to why I needed to go – to put in the miles came from Joe Cocker “Feelin Alright”
Seems I got to have a change of scene
‘Cause every night I have the strangest dreams
Imprisoned by the way it could have been
Left here on my own or so it seems
I got to leave before I start to scream
But someone’s locked the door and took the key
For ten miles I ran, through the dark, the gems of light sparkling from the wet pavement as I ran past the people watching football or movies on their TV’s in the subdivisions I ran through. And I felt GOOD when I finished – (and as it would happen, somewhere around mile 9.5 James Brown was belting out “I Feel Good”
Wo! I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would, now
So good, so good,
So I leave you with this. Do the things you don’t want to do that you know that are good for you. That takes dedication and determination. You will find that you don’t have it all the time, sometimes you need a PUSH, and find your inspiration. Find it through conversation, find it in lyrics, find it in a movie, but then take ACTION, because it is only in the MOVEMENT that we DO. All of life is movement, and to be inactive is a choice. We all need rest, and to de-stress, but understand from that comfort of bed, from that comfort of relaxation, from that comfort food that tastes so good, we need to PUSH ourselves away – we need to run away from, and we will soon find ourselves running TO something, because it is all an endurance game. The more effort we put into it, the harder it will be, but ultimately the more joy and accomplishments we will find along the way, but even those will be in the miles behind you as you keep going – it is the GOING that is the important thing.
John “Z” Zeydel – Your PUSH Coach – helping you put in your miles in this race called life