Friday, March 2, 2012

Words to Live By

We may be identical twins, sharing a body type, hair & eye color, metabolism, ridiculous sized calf muscles, and currently a love for running, but that's where the similarities end. Don't get me wrong, we are probably more alike than different, but here's a list of things that come to mind:
  1. Jessica is the studious one. I am the meathead.
  2. I am a "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" kinda gal. Jessica has been planning each minute since we left the womb.
  3. Jessica worries that everything won't be done perfectly. I rarely worry if nothing ever gets done.
  4. I would rather run 3 miles as fast as possible. Jessica would rather run for 12 hours straight. 
  5. Jessica is an great Marine Corps officer, willing to sacrifice (in many opinions) too much to ensure she accomplishes the mission. When I was a Marine, I used to skip out early and go surfing.
Ok, you get my drift, right? Well, Jessica is currently serving as a company commander for a Radio Battalion deployed in Afghanistan. She struggles to find time to devote to maintaining her personal relationships with those "left behind" while keeping her focus on the mission/Marines at hand. That stresses her out. She doesn't have time to run as much as she would like to. That stresses her out too. So recently she emailed me and our two best friends (yeah, we have that in common) with her new mantra:
Knowing my sister as I do, I realize that this will be a struggle for her to live up to. Jessica is a perfectionist. But as we've gotten older, she's mellowed a bit and I'm so thrilled that she found this great mantra to guide her through the next few months, or years. I have no doubt that she has this posted either next to her rack or by her computer as a constant reminder to slow down and just trust. 

When I received the aforementioned email, the closest thing I had to a mantra was "Enjoy Being" as you read earlier here. I headed out on a run Wednesday morning and was feeling pretty sluggish. I decided right then and there to develop my own mantra, something to get me through those rough spots of a run when I want to walk. Here it is:
Run - because you should.
Don't complain - because you can. 

Let me break it down. "Run - because you should." Run can be replaced with workout, eat healthy, cross train, etc. Basically, we should make an effort to modify our behavior in positive ways that result in healthier beings. For instance - I should run because I want my daughter to grow up with a good example on how to be healthy and strong. And the "Don't complain - because you can." What I mean by this is something that's prevalent within the fitness community already. Be grateful that you have legs and muscles that allow you to carry your body over the pavement in a smooth stride. As a member of a military community, I frequently see amputees, and it's a stark reminder to quit whining when my legs are sore or get tired. Our running club's (Stroller Warriors) leader's son was recently diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). He is two and walks only with the help of a walker. But he gives 100% during his physical therapy and keeps such a positive attitude about his "magic shoes," that it makes me think twice before complaining to his mom about our current workout. So because I am ABLE to run, I really have no right to complain. It's a decision I made for myself. I've always been one of those people who sees my situation and says, "Well, it could be worse." Not everyone is like that. My husband couldn't be more opposite. Do what works for you. This mantra got me through 4 miles when I really didn't even want to be running. 

What words inspire you?