A few weeks ago I stepped outside to take a 6 mile run that I do fairly routinely around the hills of my home. Like most of my life, I safely mapped it out and built up to it over a two year period of running.
For nearly 3 months I had talked about running a half marathon, even as far as trying to recruit a friend who had done a few, to make sure I would see it to fruition. Although my plan to actually get into the Long Island event fell apart when I realized my daughter’s graduation from Indiana would save me from it, I continued to increase my mileage eventually doing an 11 mile run. That being completed my brain kept telling me that the half marathon run could easily be accomplished, yet a nagging part of me kept reminding me that it was all “talk” with no action. The run had not happened, and no matter how much I could extrapolate the prior distances, or justify with some theory, I just hadn’t accomplished anything. The fact was that a half marathon distance was not done and to claim it was possible but not run was just eating away at me.
That morning seemed like any other as I began my run. Without any real thought, the 6 miles rolled into 10, and then 14. I had done it. Without much thought of what just happened, a huge smile spread across my face. What amazed me was not the effort to do the run but the fact that it just happened. As I walked it off, I flashed back on all the amazing life decisions that “just happened:”
College, marriage, house, babies, business . . .
How I wish I could take that magical seed, the one that gets us to move through life with confidence, that keeps us strong and protects us from all the awful downturns, and bottle it. I dream I could manufacture it, give it to everybody, and keep some extra for me when I need it. It must be the magic that gets us to find the ones we love, to nurture those relationships and build new ones as life goes on.
Maybe it’s not magic. Maybe it’s faith. Or God? It has to be something more than just ourselves, luck or experience. It can’t just be our DNA or our schooling.
Next week I will be 59 years old. This past year I became a grandpa of 3 delicious kids, “retired”, and ran a half marathon. What do they all have in common? None of this was planned, it just happened.
If any of you are looking for the magic, you probably have it sitting in a corner of your mind. Just move it over to a more fertile part of yourself to get it to grow. All it needs is to be surrounded by the freedom inside your head to let it just happen.
By the way, it’s never too late to start running. As Nike says, “Just Do It!”