Practice in Decision-Making

Here’s me, starting out on a 20-22 mile run. My first long trail run.

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Anyway – on to the matter at hand. My run today offered me lots of time to think about how running offers lessons for everyday life. The big one I can think of, and experienced on quite profoundly on this run, involves decisions. At some point, on every run, regardless of the distance, intensity, or setting, we are faced with a big decision. Do we run, continue through the inconvenience, and persevere? Do we alter our gait, form, water/fuel intake, pace or trail? Or do we stop? Depending on the circumstance, any of these can be justified. If your knee starts throbbing, it might not be a bad idea to rest it. If you know your muscles will relax with time, keep moving. If your hips gets tight, stretch it out a bit. There are always decisions.

In our everyday lives, we are constantly facing similar decisions. In relationships, at work, at home, and everywhere else we happen to be, we have the option to quit when things get rough. Do we choose to follow the path we’re on or strike a new trail? Do we stick it out in one place or with one person or do things need to change? Often, the decisions in life and running are not that drastic, but don’t think for a second that they don’t effect the rest of it.

That’s why I talk about running as a spiritual practice. Running (and music, but that’s a different tangent) reflects myself and my life to me in ways that other activities just don’t. And today, on my run, I faced that monster of decision a bunch of times. But, I chose to continue. I chose to see it through. And I finished. 20.22 miles in 3:31.51. I’ll take it and say I’m ready for that 20-miler in October.

What other aspects of life do you see reflected in running?

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4 thoughts on “Practice in Decision-Making

  1. I am more of a walker than a runner but I can certainly identify with your comparison to a spiritual practice. We are always faced with choices and decisions that have lasting effects way beyond the immediate. Once we realize that we tend to make wiser decisions. Nice post and good on ya for finishing in such a great time!

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    • Thanks, Beth Ann! Walking and a huge number of other activities can also give us the same benefits in that regard. Keep up the walking and thanks for chiming in!

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