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Becoming a better version of myself

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm a firm believer in the "everything happens for a reason" way of thinking. That doesn't mean that I don't believe that we have any control over our lives. I believe quite the opposite. It just means to me that sometimes things are just sort of set there like a big jigsaw puzzle and we have to decide where each piece goes in order to figure out what the big picture looks like.
Right now a number of pieces have somehow come to the surface in the scrambled pile of pieces that yet need to be fit together and they're changing the big picture that is coming together.

First piece is Sparkspeople. I didn't look specifically for this piece. I just sort of stumbled onto it. I was looking for an easy way to track calaries and wasn't successful. My wife simply did a web search and came up with SP. This accidental find changed the way I live at the present.

Second piece was a book that came up in a discussion about free will. Some friends had just seen Matthew Kelly speak and they were extremely impressed with him. I followed up by taking a trip to the local library to see what they had by him and came up with his book, "The Rhythm of Life".

Third piece is a large one - the fact that I retired this year. Now I'm an extremely active person, so boredom is not an issue, but retirement provides a need to refocus on what your purpose in life now may be. I hadn't really thought about that yet.

Now I'm putting these pieces together. In the book, the main theme is that in order to live every day with passion and purpose a person must strive to become a better version of himself. Not become someone else, just taking what is inheritedly me and striving to improve on me. Physical, emotional, intellectual, and spirtual needs are all taken into consideration. I read this and said "yes. This is my goal. To make a better version of myself."

Here's where SP has come in in a very big way. Although, I considered myself to be in better shape than most men my age, I still weighed more than I should and my blood pressure was an issue. With help from Sparks, I am losing the extra weight and I have certainly boosted my exercise routine to a new level.

But weight loss is only part of the story. One of my biggest needs in life is to feel that I am helping others. For that reason, teaching was an idea profession for me and it gave me great satisfaction. Once I retired, I needed a new way to meet this need. Again I find that here at SP. I get tremendous satisfaction from interacting with new found friends on the Outdoor Team, a team that I created, as from the Rookie Runner Team which is filled with positive people. It simply makes me feel good knowing that I'm helping others to stay inspired to reach their goals.

I don't know where this is all going to lead, but I do believe it'll lead to "a better version of myself."

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITS4CHANGE 4/6/2007 1:07PM

    Wood - you have such a wonderful way with words. I enjoyed reading that very much. It's exactly how I've been feeling. I just wasn't able to spell it out quite so eloquently.

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JUSTRUNNINGFOOL 4/5/2007 10:02AM

    Your blog reminds me of the following quotes from the late George Sheehan. 1."Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be. "
2. "There are as many reasons for running as there are days in the year, years in my life. But mostly I run because I am an animal and a child, an artist and a saint. So, too, are you. Find your own play, your own self-renewing compulsion, and you will become the person you are meant to be. " From what you write here, you have find that play, that self-renewing compulsion in running and the outdoors, and you already are becoming the person you were meant to be. This is just one more step on the journey.

Based on your discussion of the Matthew Kelly book, I think you would like his books. I highly recommend his books: "How to Feel Great 24 Hours A Day," "Running and Being" and "This Running Life," all of which can be found in a three-in-one-volume set called "Dr. George Sheehan on Getting Fit and Feeling Great." I found mine after surfing the Internet; I think it might have been eBay.

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