Sometime during my years in the Army I was taught to pay attention to my surroundings while I run. It passes the time. It’s good to have situational awareness. It stops my brain from focusing on the voice in my head screaming, “So hot! So tired!” If I think about what I might blog about – a silly little gem from the outside – that helps, too.

Today, as I ran around Lake Harriet, everything I saw seemed to test my patience. Couples walking hand-in-hand thus blocking the path. Speed walkers swinging their arms so wide they nearly hit me as we passed. Dogs, so many dogs, stretching their leashes across my path. Teenagers walking four wide. Johnny-joggers weaving in and out of all these inconsiderate people. Oy!

I grew so frustrated I wanted to stop. Fuck it, I thought. It’s too hot to run anyways. Then I remembered my sweet, meditative girlfriend’s advice for these ugly feelings. Stay with it. See the people. Feel the breeze off the lake.  Keep running. With my patience-bubble propelling me, I pushed forward and finished the whole loop. Even though I’m still running slow, I’m glad I didn’t stop. Maybe tomorrow’s crossfit will be that much easier for it. I hope.

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