Run the Mile You are in!
Apr 30, 2020
Run the Mile You Are In.
A strange name for a blog. Especially since it is not really about running. Let me explain.
For the past 15 years, I have been a marathoner. Again, this is not about running, just an explanation of why I’m using this comparison of running to life. I train for and finish marathons by choice, as the way I stay fit, active, and sane. I have learned a lot about life by running and walking long distances – lessons about myself, about life, that have shaped me and helped me through every day, and not so every day, situations.
One of the greatest lessons to learn, in life and running, is to run the mile you’re IN. You can’t run mile 22 at mile 1. Worrying about mile 22 at mile 1 will certainly ruin your finish by crippling you in the beginning of the race. Trying to run mile 22 at mile 1, is like worrying about parenthood as a preschooler, teenager, or single adult. It just doesn’t make much sense and it is a recipe for disaster, or at least wasted energy, added stress, and borrowed trouble. When you run the mile you are not in, you expend energy on “what ifs”, rather than the “what is”. Looking too far ahead will not serve you well. The secret is to find the tension and balance of looking just far enough ahead to prepare and still be present in your mile, dealing with the joys and challenges there. When you practice this balance, you are present and not preoccupied with something that is not happening yet, and may not happen at all, especially if you do not run this mile well by dealing with the present situation. it is impossible to deal with what is when you are worried about dealing with what is not yet.
Another lesson about running the mile you are in, is running the mile YOU are in and not the mile someone else is in. There mile rarely has anything to do with your mile.
Although comparison to others has been a problem for as long as there have been people and can sometimes be a useful tool when seeking to learn, comparing our lives to someone else’s is rarely a good thing. As Mark Twain said, “Comparison is the death of joy.” I believe this is true, mostly because you do not have the whole story when you compare yourself with others. You are not comparing equal truths. Instead, you are comparing your perception and experience with the perception you have of someone else, which is based on incomplete information, for you can never know what is in someone else’s heart and soul or their bank of experience. You are not familiar with all of their strengths and challenges. You do not know what they have overcome or what they face, currently. When you focus on someone else, more than yourself, you are not dealing with reality and, therefore, this comparison does not serve you well. Comparison, in this instance, is unfair to you and, most likely, to the other person. It is not an objective assessment of “what is”.
Run the mile you are IN.
Run the mile YOU are in.
And, lastly, RUN the mile you are in. Participate in your life right NOW! Be present. Be here. Be with your people. Do the thing that sits before you at this moment. Focus on the thing. What is the thing? Work, fun, parenting, marriage, friendship? See what is here and what is now. Be you and give it your best with what you have right now.
Is it a good idea to prepare, plan, organize, learn, grow? Absolutely! That may be the mile you are in right now.
Do the next thing to get where you are going and do it well. If you are in training or learning mode, then train, learn, because it is not time for the race or the test.
Are you parenting a 2 year old, expecting more out of them than they can give? They will be older soon enough, embrace the 2 year old mile, it will pass. Are you parenting a teenager like a 2 year old? You have finished that mile, move on.
How about your career? Are you wishing for the next big thing, but neglecting your responsibilities in your climb – your learning phase? You can have your eye on the next thing, but be present with the now, so that you learn and experience those things needed to carry you on in to where you want go, as a stronger, more capable, valuable asset.
Take a look around you and observe the markers. What mile are you in? There are many of them. Do not miss the experience by rushing through the journey, on your way to the next thing. Run the mile you are in.
Running with gratitude,
Robin Simpson, MarathonMakeover
Couch potato turned marathoner at 37, still running at 53! Healthy habits geek, encouraging you to get up, get moving and be your best! Click HERE to get my eBook and GET MOVING!
Blog Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery