Forty things I’ve learned in my first 40 years.  Learn more about the series here.

8 of 40…

I’ve been reminded many times in my life that I’m at my best when I consistently run.

Recently, I dialed back my running for a few weeks. It’s definitely important to get some rest after a year containing a couple marathons, my first 50K, and splitting a 50-mile relay with a friend. However, dialing back helped me remember once again what running provides.

Running quiets and slows my inner dialogue. It allows me to sort through all the random thoughts, ideas, and self criticisms. It has a way of turning a heap of tangled and dirty laundry into a basket of crisp, organized clothes.

Running builds my confidence. When I’m running frequently and strong, I stand taller and take on more challenges. I flinch less at the bullets and mud.

Running humbles me. The marathon usually wins. This keeps me coming back for more – after recovering from the physical and mental anguish. Running taps me on the shoulder and gently reinforces my humanity and the importance of grit.

Running makes me a better listener. It offers a calmness and positive energy that I have a difficult time explaining,

Running reminds me. It reminds me to be thankful for the important things in life. When I run, I’m not thinking of material possessions. Rather, I’m thinking of the present and how wonderful it is to be able to run. I’m thinking of the past, and how relationships and experiences have blessed me and shaped me. I’m thinking of the endless possibilities of the future.

With limited running in recent weeks, it’s absence reminded me why I miss it.

I’m better when I run. So, on Thursday we turkey trotted as a family to start our Thanksgiving Day.

Turkey trotting with the fam!
Turkey trotting with the fam!

I’m at my very best when I’m running toward a goal. So, on Black Friday I registered for the Chippewa 50K on April 28, 2018. This will be the initial measuring stick toward my ultimate goal of finishing a 50-miler later in 2018. Yes, that was my big Black Friday purchase 😉

The year ahead will consist of countless miles, gruesomely early mornings, and aching muscles that want to quit.

Fortunately, the lessons of my first 40 years tell me that it’s also a tasty recipe for countless growth opportunities away from the roads and trails.

Will I be faster? Questionable. Will I be better? No doubt.

Takeaway 8 of 40

What makes you better? 2018 awaits your answer…


Enjoy today,

~ Mark

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