Saturday, January 21, 2012

Control Freak

Less than a month into my unofficial training and I'm already up to 7 miles!

I've been surprised how impressed some of my friends have been with my accomplishments--in particular, those friends who, from all appearances, are more fit than I am. I'm relatively in shape, but I'm no Olympic medalist, nor do I look the part. I had a very thin, athletic friend remark the other day that he could barely run 3 miles these days, and that made me realize that perhaps my progress is more noteworthy than I thought.

I'm starting to understand that long distance training, like any challenging pursuit, is a great deal more a mental game than anything else--the proverbial 1% perspiration, 99% inspiration (a partially inaccurate equation when you take into account how soaked my clothes are after a run). If I wasn't so dead set on going all the way and making some real changes in my health, I probably would have petered out after mile 5 when my hips were screaming and I started to think I might upchuck.

Yeah, yeah. Go me and my incredible willpower. I'm proud and pleased with what I've done so far, but I think a ton of credit goes to the simple fact that this kind of challenge was made for someone exactly like me--THE CONTROL FREAK.

There are so many aspects of my life in which attempting to attain a goal is a painfully slow, often confusing and turbulent process; sometimes, only with hindsight can success then be measured. This is difficult and incredibly frustrating for the analytical mind which craves a step-by-step formula to reach the desired result.

Thank goodness for the tangible rewards of a running plan, measured in miles run, calories burned, and firmness of booty muscles (yeah, I said it), and the power I have over achieving those rewards simply by making the choice to lace up and swipe in at the gym.

Ah, but, see, life has taught me some valuable lessons about my compulsive need for control. That lesson is this: Just when I think I've harnessed it, some sort of rude and often unpleasant awakening comes to remind me just how powerless I am.

In my mind, I've already set the course for the next 6 months of training, discounting any chance for a sprained ankle or illness to set me back, but who's to say? The occasional reminder to myself that I am, in fact, NOT a machine may prevent any rude awakenings in the near future.

James 4:14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

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