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Lessons In The Fog

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Something new happened to me this morning. I will confide in you and tell you that I literally "write" my entire blog in my head each day WHILE I'm on my runs in the morning. If you've noticed, there have been a couple days where I didn't post anything. I could almost 100% guarantee that those days were rest days.

This morning, I stumbled upon such deep and profound thoughts, I literally couldn't wait to capture them. Picture this...a running girl holding a cell phone and talking into her voice recognition app WHILE still running. Yeah...I was THAT desperate to hold onto these ideas. So, maybe you're in for a treat with this one. Or, maybe I've finally truly lost my mind. You be the judge.

This morning's run started off as every other until I got to the trail and began my run. About 3 minutes in, I looked ahead and saw this...

The picture really doesn't do this wall of fog justice. It was so thick, I couldn't see anything past a few yards in front of me. I felt the icy fingers of fear grasp my heart. I've read too many safety articles lately. Here I am...a woman completely alone on a trail shrouded in thick fog.

I'm not a fool. I turned down my music and proceeded with caution, keeping my eyes wide open and alert for predators. I kept running. And what happened next took me completely by surprise. I had assumed the entire rest of my run would literally be in a cloud. But, as it turns out, that patch of fog was a narrow strip...and soon, I was on a clear path and looking back at the fog behind me.

On the way back, my thoughts were so energizing that I picked up the pace of my run significantly. I ran right through that fog on the way back without so much as a backwards glance.

As I finished my run, the impact of this as a metaphor for life and health really hit me hard. And, as a result of this seemingly insignificant incident, I came up with 5 truths that can be used as guides for life and health.

1. Watch for Predators

LIFE: Doesn't it seem like things are going so well sometimes and you suddenly look around and realize that you've stumbled into a situation where you could easily be attacked? At work, school, in your marriage, with a friend. We've gotta keep our eyes open for things like gossip, anger, bitterness and division in our family. Stuff like that can sneak up and destroy you...usually when you are all alone in your own thoughts, in your own world.

HEALTH: Moments of weakness can roll in like a thick fog and cloud your judgment. What are the predators that seek to destroy our healthy lifestyle? Fast food, indifference, self-hatred, depression. Come on...I'm sure you can name a LOT more than that! We MUST keep our eyes open. For, if our health is stolen from us...what do we have left?

2. But...Keep Running!

LIFE: When you are living WAY off your budget, you face death of loved ones, when you have no job prospects and your kids are hungry, when you wonder if this marriage has any possibility of surviving, when you ask God if your life means anything...keep running. Because, who knows when that fog will lift? It might look overpowering and it might appear to stretch on forever, but one day...you'll find yourself in the light. And you'll be looking back at that fog, thinking, "What was that all about? I'm OK."

HEALTH: You guys know this. I have only talked about this about a thousand times. And so has everyone else that has found success on this site. We just can't give up. It doesn't matter if you ate 5 Big Macs yesterday or spent a full 48 hours in front of the TV playing World of Warcraft. Today is a new day and you are responsible for your body TODAY. So, screw the past and get moving.

3. You'll Be Surprised What You Find on The Other Side

LIFE: Sometimes (ok, most times), good things happen after we fall. A new love, a new friend and soulmate, some new opportunity that you never even conceived of in the past. And your horrible circumstances led you directly to it. Life is just like that. Thank God. You know...like a box of choclates. Never know what you're gonna get.

HEALTH: One of these days, you're gonna be walking into a gas station wearing a skirt and heels and you are going to check out your OWN legs. (OK, well...if the guys do that, I might get a *little* concerned...depending on your chosen lifestyle, I guess). But, seriously, you will realize one day that you have a muscle where you didn't know you had one. You will collapse in tears on your driveway because you ran a 5k at 248 lbs. You'll marvel at the fact that you said "no" to your very favorite meal because it just isn't good for you. Not out of guilt...but out of love for yourself. And you will sit in awe and realize how far you have come.

4. You'll Be Stronger On The Other Side

LIFE: This is the epitome of being a survivor. Your courage and determination grows each time you face a situation you fear and take it on head to head. And even if the results are not what you think they will be or wish them to be, you can never say that you are not a more complex or interesting person as result.

HEALTH: Muscles get torn down in a run and then they build back up. But, when they build back up, they are stronger. But exercise and healthy eating doesn't just make you physically stronger. Your level of confidence and love for yourself is a foundation for everything else you do in life. It needs to be sturdy, like a brick wall. Every time you meet a goal or complete a workout or make a healthy choice, you are adding another brick to that inpenetrable wall.

5. You Won't Be Afraid Next Time

LIFE: This doesn't mean it won't hurt just as much the next time...but you will go into it with something more valuable than fear...knowledge and wisdom from living through it in the past. The best part about knowledge and wisdom is that you can pass that on to others...and maybe they won't be AS afraid the first time they are faced with the fog.

HEALTH: The lure of junk food, the beckoning of the couch, the mental exhaustion that comes from making excuse after excuse - these things (and more) will slowly lose their power in your life...if you are consistent. No longer will you be a slave to them. But you will claim your OWN power. And you will be in control of your own body, mind and spirit. THAT, my friends, is true health.
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