Who Doesn’t Love Taking the Easy Route?
A couple of years ago, I trained for a half-marathon. As an avowed NON RUNNER, I had no idea how to really run or train for anything that involved more than a few steps in hot pursuit of a soccer ball. So with my smart phone running app in hand, I plotted out a mile course around the neighborhood, a route with as few hills as possible.
Who Doesn’t Love Making Progress?
As I get more engaged in running, I managed to get my one-mile time down to twelve minutes. Then eleven. Then under ten. Finally, I got that time to around eight, and I have to say that made me feel happy, especially considering I’m a non runner!
Who Doesn’t Love Looking Ahead?
“Wow! Check out the half-marathon course,” my wife said while scanning the race route on line. “It’s very hilly. We need to condition by running hills.”
We built our true strength and endurance for the race by running the three H’s: hills, heat, and humidity.
The Occoneechee Mountain Trail near our home loops up and over several steep climbs and one spur of the trail covers about three miles. That’s where we trained most days during the Summer.
I’ll never forget our first run there. My GPS reading must not have liked the altitude on this trail, because I discovered after running for ten minutes that I’d only traveling a distance of half a mile. In fact, it took me nearly 25 minutes to cover the first mile!
And When You’re Ready for Real Growth…
Back to why I won’t be wishing you a “happy” new year.
I was “happy” when I could run a mile in eight minutes. It made me feel good to get down to that time, especially considering that I started at over twelve minutes. Imagine if I could keep lopping off a third of my time every few months! I’d be running a mile in negative time before long.
Each mile I logged in my neighborhood covered the same distance as each mile I ran on the Occoneechee Mountain Trail. But when I chose to run through challenging conditions by getting off the easy, “happy” route and onto the steep, narrow, uneven trail, I grew into a better, stronger runner.
That’s why I’m wishing you a New Year with as many challenges as you can handle. Happiness is awesome. Snag as much happiness as possible along the journey. But don’t make happiness your main goal, especially not at the expense of the kind of growth you experience when times get tough.
A real “happy” New Year is one where you don’t just dream about the kind of progress you wish to make during the next year. Rather, it’s having the strength to realize those dreams.