Saturday, March 10, 2012

And on the 72nd Day

The other day, while in the most thought provoking spot in my house (otherwise known as the shower) I had a moment; for some strange reason the fable 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' popped into my head. I was thinking about the story and felt some compassion for the boy who cried wolf. I was thinking about how, in the story, the boy cries wolf to amuse himself and then I realized the boy was probably lonely and looking for some friends/companions but didn't know how to ask for what he truly needed. I felt bad that the boy didn't know how to ask for what he needed and in trying to bring people near him he isolated himself even more.

OK, so I admit I over think things!

On Friday I found myself telling people about my discovery of compassion for the boy. I don't think I was ever successful in eloquently making my point, so what did I do? I started relating it to running and continued over thinking...

Last night I attended a lecture (or should I call it stand up comedy) by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano, fellow CU Buffs, with the intention of sneaking out the back if I was bored to tears; instead the exact opposite happened and I was fully engaged. These guys were pretty hilarious AND they had some very good points.

To set the stage for where I am going with all of this I have to remind you of my 2012 aspirations. I entered this year with the plan of running another Half marathon, another Marathon, some crazy mileage goals (for running) and a goal of trying to run a mile a day (born out of a challenge and a story I read in Runner's World magazine about two years ago). For the last few weeks my body has started asking me for a rest day, but my mind has rebelled. I have been hesitant to take a rest day because I honestly don't know how I would handle it.

Adam and Tim started talking about the difference between being tough and stupid. Two of my buddies looked back at me... Adam and Tim then began telling a story about Adam limping along with an injury, while fully intending to run fifteen miles the following day. This story was to illustrate the importance of not being stupid. One of my buddies and I had a brief side conversation that included both of us acknowledging that we walk the line of tough and stupid daily.

I started thinking about my body and how it is begging for that break and considered how I might nurture my mind while giving my body what it needs. I then reflected on what Adam and Tim preached during their lecture; the message was basically that we all need to learn to make someday, today. So what does that really mean? Well have you ever decided you wanted to do something fairly innocuous and instead of doing it right now, you decide it will get done tomorrow? I have, I do it all the time with cleaning my house, for example. They basically were telling us that if there isn't a true life barrier (financial, age, physical, etc.) to beginning our journey toward a goal then we have no excuse but to start today. Remember my last post regarding the statement 'but I didn't.' It is essentially the same message. Do it now, so you don't have to say but I didn't later.

Finally, Tim and Adam talked about the importance of being flexible. They told a great story about Adam going to a track meet with his plan for winning the race. The plan included Adam taking off at the gun in front of the pack and not letting anyone pass him. I honestly had a hard time understanding how this one plan made Adam flexible but then they continued on talking about the what ifs. What if someone passed Adam? What if he tripped? What if, what if, what if??? He didn't have a plan... No one ever did pass him, but he didn't have a plan for what he might do in that instance.

I started thinking about what I might do if I couldn't run because I was being inflexible and walking the line between tough and stupid? I really don't have a plan... In thinking and dreaming about this I realized that my other goal includes participating in my first Olympic distance triathlon, for which I am already registered, and how training for that can fill in the gaps and allow my body some rest from running, but what about my mile a day challenge?

Well, as I continued thinking about walking the line between tough and stupid, about flexibility, about making today that someday and about the boy who cried wolf, it all  started to make sense (to me at least)! If I want to be tough and give my body what it is asking for (by being flexible) so that it can continue being loyal to my mind, I need to make someday today!

SO, on the 72nd day, I shall rest...


  1. I'm having a similar (though nearly as important) challenge today! My knee is sore and I've been doing a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio every day since the beginning of February with VERY few days off (3 total so far). I know I SHOULDN'T go to the gym. My knee hurts, it's been 7 days in a row since I took a break, I ran 8 miles on Wednesday and haven't had a day off, etc... But man, it's hard to sit here and not exercise!!

  2. Wonderful post, Sarah! I straddle the line between tough and stupid more frequently than I care to admit. After experiencing what it was like to not run for nearly a year because I had been "stupid" a few too many times and it resulted in surgery, I really try to consider what the consequences will be of thinking I'm tough when really I just need a break. It's a true dilemma, but I think runners understand it well. The old "listen to your body" is much easier said than done. I listen, but then I often ignore. Happy resting!

  3. Wonderful post! I'm super excited to hear that you shall rest!!! :)