What Keeps You Running?

It’s that time in my life where it constantly feels like the deep breath before the plunge. This has happened before, prior to graduating from college the first go round, when you feel like everything you know is getting ready to shift in a colossal way. Over the past 11 months, I haven’t had a lot of say in the changes in my life, they just happened on their own. I have, however, reached the point where I am no longer simply going to react… the time for being proactive has arrived.

There are two types of runners in the world. Those who run away from their problems and those who run head-on into the fray. I like to think of myself as the latter… The former live a life of fear and uncertainty, and constantly make excuses for not dealing with conflict because it’s uncomfortable or they just bail because they don’t have the spine to tackle adversity. Those who tackle their problems may come out with bruises, wounded limbs, or battle scars, but they know what they’re confronting in their life and are capable of taking responsibility. Running away from difficult circumstances will only land you in a world of hurt, and is a guaranteed way to run in circles without ever making progress.

I have not always been one to face my fears, in fact that has only begun to happen since 2009. It is so much easier to cower in the shadows than it is to stand up and face your challenge eye to eye.  My challenges for me for the next seven months have been laid out clearly before me: MBA graduation & Ironman. That’s it. Those are my priorities  Those are the lighthouses in the storm and they pierce  like a laser through my lifestyle choices for the coming months.

Picture credit 1Picture credit 2.

So, in the course of all my running, I have arrived at an intersection of decisions. All the crap this year and an incredibly disappointing race season would typically bog me down and make me feel unlucky, but I refuse to let that happen. The situations that I can control, I am certainly going to, and if I let my circumstances push me around then I am doing a disservice to myself.  In the face of a challenge, I am pressing on! I have ordered a new (badass) racing bike, begun to revert my focus into taking better care of myself, and have reorganized my priorities. There is nothing like being forced to revisit your life choices when the bridge begins to fall out from underneath you…

It’s an inspiring time of year. The holidays bring families and dear friends close together, and it’s a wonderful time of reflection and planning for the future. I am continually trying to avoid accomplishing things just because they are on my list, and am striving to keep my goals relatively limited next year so that I don’t overdo it. That’s not to say many exciting and wonderful things won’t happen, I will just be better about the weight that they carry. For once, I am honestly not that stressed, and I’ve got a lot of stressful things going on. That’s a great feeling to have! The coping mechanisms are working (and there was much rejoicing).

There are few things more motivational than watching thousands of people complete a 140.6 mile race. This year’s video recap of Ironman Hawaii really sticks with triathletes,  and I am so, so excited for June to get here. Yes, I have a support system through friends and family, but I will get there on my own. The success and failure of that race lies squarely on my shoulders, and what a wonderful journey it will be.

What are you running towards? Or are you running away?

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