Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I ran. Like real running. Heart-pumping running. Okay more like heart-pumping jogging. Either way I consider it a success! I know for many, running is an everyday thing but I don’t run. Ask anyone. I walk, hike, walk fast, ice skate, play volleyball, and swim, but I don’t run. Why? Two years ago in the midst of an intense workout my heart went crazy—palpitations and arrhythmia! My blood pressure spiked, I had intense pain up through my shoulder and neck and thought I was going to pass out. I did a little deep breathing, put my head down, and started praying I wouldn’t drop right there. I got out of there as fast as possible and I was scared!
Well here I am, two years and lots of tests and doctors visits later. My friends keep pestering me to go back to the gym with them but I just can’t do it, and finally I admitted my fears to them. I don’t want to have a heart attack. You should know that that infamous workout wasn’t the cause of my heart problem just the culmination of it’s manifestation. You should also know I am pretty healthy and could have started running long ago—accept for the fear that grips me every time I think about it.
I found myself on the treadmill this morning for my daily walk, thinking to myself, “Just do it. Just run.” Of course my evil angel was telling me to give it up before I even started. I only half listened, and I selected the harder workout telling myself I could always slow down. But, when the treadmill sped up so did I. I did it! I ran! For 5 minutes. Maybe not such a big deal to some but to me it was a big deal. I did a hard thing, something I feared. Even better than that, my kids watched me do it.
I know that my kids will become in some ways a reflection of who I am. I want them to know that I can do hard things. I want them to know that I faced my fears. I hope it will help them to have the courage to do the hard things they fear. I hope they will try out for school plays even when they don’t make it the first time. I hope they will practice the piano even when they are not good at it. I hope they will try food they don’t like. I hope they will play soccer again after they break their nose doing it.
You see, this post isn’t really about running. It’s about doing something I was afraid to do. It’s about being better today than I was yesterday.
Twenty -four years ago, we had a fire in our home that stemmed from faulty wiring that had melted behind our fireplace. Once our home was repaired and we had moved back in we did not have any fires in the fireplace for what seemed to me a long while. I remember my Dad getting off the couch one day in a bit of a whirl. He threw the ice bag he had been using at the fireplace and walked out to the garage. A few minutes later we had a fire in our fireplace. Big deal right? It was a big deal to him.
I know we all have our own demons, big or small. I challenge you to pick just one and face it today or this week, even if it is for 5 minutes. Maybe those five minutes will be enough to light a fire in you. I will bet after doing so you will find yourself better today than yesterday. And I will bet some day even if it is twenty-four years from now your own children will remember and follow your example.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------Welcome to our new series: Better today than yesterday. Each post for the next little while will focus on something we can do to be better today than yesterday. I am a firm believer that one of the best things we can do to improve our families is to be better today than yesterday. I hope you enjoyed the first segment of our series.