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Thursday, March 13, 2008

life can be an uphill battle.

blog-o-sphere, i'd like to introduce you to my newest training parter & friend, big red. if you haven't noticed already, beach season is almost upon us. (i think i just heard a collective gasp, followed by a long sigh.) i, like most of you, i'm sure, have a bit of a love/ hate relationship with summertime. on one hand i love all that it has to offer: warm weather, longer days, promises of bbq's, etc. but on the other hand - all of these goodies mean, it's bathing suit season. i think my whole outlook on wearing a bathing suit was shaped by a coffee mug by mom had in her cupboard (& still has to this day) that reads "things could be worse. we could be trying on bathing suits." with the fear of having to wear a swimming suit sooner, rather than later, i asked jeffy to help me get "bathing suit ready." that leads me to how big red & i met. it was monday, & jeffy & were out for a run. when we came across big red, jeffy announced, with a huge grin on his face, that my task for that day was to run up & down big red 10 times. although i didn't make the full 10 laps, my legs were like jello, i did manage to make 8. & seeing that i didn't bring my nano along, i had lots of time to think... & ya'll know that means i'm ready to dispense lots & lots of wisdom, because as i was running up big red, i started to think about how climbing this hill related to life, & i realized a couple of things.

first of all, that old adage is true. "slow & steady wins the race." about lap 3 or so, i was really pushing hard, trying to get up big red as fast as i could. on the way up i passed an older gent, who was walking. a little further up the hill, i lost my steam. i didn't stop running, but my steps definitely got closer & closer together & my pace slowed way down. & although he didn't pass me, i could really feel him on my tail. i for one know that this a lesson i need to take to heart regarding life. too often in life, whether it be a new project or simply cleaning the house, i start off going full throttle. usually though, it doesn't take long for me to get bored, or tired, & start to slack off. personally, instead of "go! go! go!", i need to remember to slow down, enjoy the scenery & just run along at an even, constant pace.

in addition to "slow & steady" i realized it's important to remain forward looking. what do i mean? in running, cycling, snowboarding (& probably several other sports i don't play) it's important to keep your eye on what's coming up ahead, instead of just the immediate future. by doing this, you can see obstacles like rocks or bumps, & have enough time to to respond. however, if you're only paying attention to the immediate future, no such luck. you'll see a rock, & you might side-step it, but without enough time to really process what's going on & your surroundings, you might end up in a hole or tripping over an even bigger rock. in life, it's easy to get caught up in "the now." sometimes i get so busy with what i have to do today & tomorrow, that i don't take the time to really plan for the future. things end up getting done at the last minute, are always rushed, & i'm constantly complaining that there isn't enough time. however, with some simple foresight & planning i think my life would run much smoother.

which leads me to my final thought. as much as i want to, i can't skip this whole "process" & immediately become bathing suit ready. i'm sad to say if that were possible, i would have no real appreciation of it, because i didn't have to work for it. a saying i often hear is "life's short eat dessert first." think about it. on the most literal of levels, is this really a good idea? if you were to constantly be eating dessert first (which really does sound divine), you would be filling yourself with sugar, chocolate & cream. although, i must admit, this is quite delicious sounding, it's not exactly the makings of a strong nutritional base. & if i was always eating dessert, i don't think i would really appreciate how good it really is. life works the same way. there are things i want to accomplish, places i want to travel, & i'd like to eventually be "at a certain place in life." i'm the first to admit, i'm totally impatient. i want it all, & i want it now! but just like learning to appreciate my "bathing suit ready" body, or a yummy dessert, if i could have it all & have it now, i wouldn't really appreciate it. instead, i need to better understand what life is truly all about - learning & preparing, so that one day, when have all that i want, i will be able to truly appreciate it & not take it for granted.

so with that, i'll step off my soap box & go snack of THIS (just don't tell jeffy, after all my hard work he'll be disappointed. but let me tell you... after working so hard & eating so well, i'll definitely appreciate a bite or two.) but before i say adieu, i'll once again reiterate the lessons big red has taught me:
1. slow & steady wins the race.
2. remain forward looking, keep your eye on the prize.
3. if you eat dessert first, you'll never gain a real appreciation for it.


Darilyn said...

These are great lessons we all need to be reminded of. Thank you.

love.boxes said...

I like big red.. Have fun on the way up (it's actually the down that kills me..) Good lessons all. :)

Amanda said...

Wow. That hill looks like a killer! And you ran it 8 times? You'll be ready for that bathing suit before you know it! Enjoy your deserve it!

Andrea said...

I couldn't agree more with your lessons. I think the first, slow and steady, is the one I need to learn the most. Good luck with Big Red.

theespinozafamily said...

Ya! What you said! Thanks - you are always an inspiration!

theespinozafamily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hazel said...

I guess I DO need to bring the treadmill up from the basement! Good Luck!

Laurie said...

What an amazing light bulb moment you had on big red. ;) I couldn't see the images but I loved your post and felt very inspired by it. I've personally been drowning my trials in Honey Buns and so you can imagine what my buns look like these days. he he

I know your hard work will pay off! ;)

Bridget said...

Great lessons. A couple months ago there was a really good article in the Ensign that talked about the spiritual benefits of eating right and exercising. It was very thought provoking and mentioned things I had always thought but never been able to articulate.

BTW, hi Darilyn, how did you end up here? (she's in my ward)

Lisa said...

Way to go! I hate running but my favorite part, if you can really call anything about running your favorite, is the thoughts that pop into your mind and the directions they take. Those are great lessons.

maddalenna said...

I, too, am in this pre-summer phase. Thank goodness for daylight savings! Now I'm able to squeeze some running time in after work. I used to run up and down hilly terrain while in college, and figured out that I got the most out of running up and walking down. This would probably be only way I could ever do ten laps of Big Red. And it was much easier on my knees!

As for guilt-free desserts (in addition to the one you linked, which I have to try!):
1. Fat-free Cool Whip + angel food cake + fresh strawberries = strawberry shortcake
2. Rice Krispie Treats
3. Non-fat vanilla yogurt + Kashi Krunch + blueberries

Sorry this was so long!

jessi said...

I'm so hoping it warms up here soon and I can run outside! Enjoy!

crystal said...

My 6-month pregnant potato-body will be dreaming of Big Red tonight. Thanks a lot.

Now excuse me, while I go eat some cheesecake.

Windy said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Krissy said...

What a great post. Glad it was one of the first things I saw today- I put the muffin down!