Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 288 - Knowing when to Quit

I got to run with my running buddy Patrick today. He lives in Michigan. Haven't seen him in ages and it was great to catch up.

We talked about work and running and family and music and how Blockbuster refused to adapt to a changing world and is going under because of it.

What we didn't talk about, until after the run, was his streak.

Patrick started a running streak shortly after I started mine. We'd traded a couple emails about it, I knew he'd had to restart it at one point, but I hadn't heard anything since. And I was reluctant to bring it up.

It might be hard to understand, but I can tell you that if I ended my streak before December 31, I'd be a little sensitive about it. I'd see it as a failure. I would have set out to accomplish this thing, didn't accomplish it, ergo I'm a loser.

Having that perspective, and a still-active streak, I didn't want to mention his streak... I felt like I knew what it's status was.

But, after the run, during the cool-down walk-n-gab, he said that he'd not been running for a few days. I felt compelled to ask, and got the answer I was expecting, mostly.

His streak had ended quite some time ago. Patrick said that trying to run every day was making him feel bad. Not just physically, but emotionally. He travels a lot, and has a young son, and it was becoming too much of a burden.

At this point, understanding all of that, I'd still have considered it a failure if it had been me. But Patrick's a little wiser than that.

He said he'd learned something about himself.- that trying to run every day wasn't good for him. Also, learning that he had the good sense to notice that, appreciate that, and to stop, was good for him.

There is wisdom to be had in every part of our lives. There are events and choices flying at us every day. Each is an opportunity to learn, and an opportunity to judge ourselves. We decide which opportunity to take.

For me, I decide every day whether or not to run, and whether or not to write. And so far, each run and each post have made me better than I was the day before. I hope I recognize when/if that's ever not the case.

Good running,

Numbers: 4.2 miles on streets.