Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Stuck in the Future

What? Stuck in the future? Is this even possible?

Well, let's take a step back here... 

Last week, I was cleaning out another section of my house. While cleaning out, and purging, it is not uncommon to run across old memories. To that point, I happened to run across a CD that was made for me by an ex several years ago. The funny thing is I have never listened to this CD until this past week, in fact I didn't even know it existed until last week. It was a fun find that I have listened to several times at this point. What made me even more curious was that several people asked me if I was going to contact my ex to say thanks for the CD. Why the heck would I do that? It was the past, and it was a wonderful and no so wonderful time all at once. I'm thankful for the time, but reaching out is only something I would do if I were still hanging on to that relationship. At some point you just have to let it go, and let it go I did, several years ago!!! I can certainly be thankful and nostalgic, I can enjoy the memories, but I don't need to drag my past into my present, or even my future.

In speaking to the past, what I've also learned is that being stuck in the future can be just as detrimental to being stuck in the past. But what exactly do I really mean by being stuck in the future? Well, I'm speaking about all the times I have thought about the possibility of not being able to be physically active in the future. Today tells e a different story, and why not appreciate today's story?

Anyway, you got the personal stories as a way to parallel the athletic perspective. Athletically, I've been living in my past AND living the many ways my brain envisions the trajectory of my life.

Let's start with the athletic piece... Athlinks is a cool tool for any individual who does a lot of races. Imagine ALL of your race results in one place? Super cool, but also super sobering. Looking at my past race results I can tell you I have gotten super slow at this whole athletic thing.

Now, what does my future hold? Well one story tells me that I won't be able to walk in 15 years, let alone run... Well, if I keep thinking that, guess what? It will come true.

One story tells me that I am going to hike Mount Everest. If I keep thinking this, guess what? It will come true (although it won't because that isn't even a dream of mine).

Another story tells me that I'm going to continue to almost fall over after every run, every race, every athletic pursuit. If I keep thinking that, guess what? It will come true.

And yet another story tells me that I am going to be able to finish every race in an upright position, without having to hold on to the ground, just to keep myself, oh wait, on the ground equals horizontal, not vertical... You get my point...

Here's the thing, on any given day, any of those future stories can dictate what today might look like, just like any of those past race times might dictate how I feel about today's performance, and neither of those stories/reflections even come close to what is going on today. Remember folks, the only thing that is predictable about tomorrow, is that what happens tomorrow is mostly unpredictable. So, the true danger is figuring out what tomorrow is going to look like, basically means that the reality of tomorrow can be hugely disappointing. So let's focus on what we can do today, or reflect on what has happened in our very recent past, as those are the only true predictors of our tomorrow.

With that being said, my running buddy and I had some super speedy miles on Sunday, and although it would be nice to have a repeat performance tomorrow, I know I will appreciate every step for what they are, in that moment. 

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