If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you. ~ T-Alan Armstrong, Author
I started writing this in my small free time the other day as I flew between San Francisco and Los Angeles. As usual for me I got myself engaged and absorbed in a conversation with a young couple telling me about the wonderful 5 days they had just spent in Mexico visiting some fascinating places so I am finishing this blog entry at home . It sure beat sitting there in my cramped seat with my computer open for an hour. Sometimes no matter how hard we try we get caught forgetting to look around, observe, learn, listen, absorb and act in a way that shows we respect and enjoy the life we have.
This young couple had a passion in their voice as they talked about their vacation. It hit home with the topic of this post that I had been thinking about. Lately as I have been running at night I’ve come across a greater understanding of what motivates me and keeps me motivated. I’ve always been passionate about wanting certain things in my life, but at the same time I can get myself into a rhythm in life that can get me into a bit of a daze. Rhythms can be good, but they can also lull us to sleep. I suddenly woke up this week and realized it got away from me. I hadn’t been collecting my thoughts, I had been ignoring what was important to me, and I wasn’t enjoying myself. Stress can do that and when you are just rolling along you sometimes need to hit a bump in the road to wake you from your slumber before you drive off the road. Albeit, paying property taxes, filing income taxes, preparing for a presentation this past week and for next week can be distracting and took me away from my ability to focus on life’s pleasures and little things.
I’ve been getting asked recently about my running and odd hours. It is true I don’t sleep much. I find that the it isn’t about how much I sleep, but the consistency of my hours. Sleeping more will throw me into as much of a funk as sleeping less. If 5 hours is all I need, then if I train my body that way, I can function very easily on 5 hours. Even the other morning I had the oddest exerience as I woke up on my own at 3:30am without the help of an alarm. I opened my eyes and heard nothing. I sat there for 5 minutes staring at the ceiling and didn’t even hear a car go by or even the hum of a refrigerator, heater, etc. For a second I almost thought I was dead. More like dead tired as I somehow made my way to the airport for a 6am flight. But that is how life goes these days. My body is on automatic. I can make my body run 5 miles and it monitors its own pace 9 minute mile followed by 8:30 minute mile, followed by 8 min. followed by another 8 and then a 7:30 pace. At first I used to look at my iPod to monitor and now I can just run and my body goes on autopilot. Some people might look at my time and wonder why I always start slow and speed up. I think it has always been my running style to start early at a moderate pace and develop a rhythm and build endurance or power. I was always the way I ran when younger and I find that is what I do in my everyday life with work, problem solving, playing with my kids, etc. Its about getting into a state of mind that you can be happy with and not have to think about. Establish a pace and then power through my tasks with endurance.When I ran in school I used to start off near the back and then slowly pass the runners as the race wore on.
For me when I develop a pattern or rhythm with your life, the rest can come easier. That is where the passion comes in. For me my running is now no longer something I have to think about. When I run all I think about is what I want to do and what I need out of life. Yes, what are my passions. What am I running to and what am I running from on my nightly jaunts are my passions in life: my wife, my family, and yes, sometimes even my work thoughts and ideas can come freely. I run from my work politics and crazy commute drivers and I run to my wife and children as well as the freedom to observe things, gather lifes lessons and share in many of life’s pleasures
My wife has needed some cheering lately and I’ve been knocking myself out trying to keep her happy, keep the kids distracted and staying in rhythm. Part of that lulling rhythm I had fallen into was that is okay. I think physically she is okay. She is not necessarily pleased with the outcome from a cosmetic view. I don’t think many people look at their bodies after surgery and can ever be totally pleased. It will never be exactly the same. Of course, she’s happy that the cancer is gone. We all are.
Tomorrow is a new day, the weekend, a chance to keep the rhythm and pursue our passions.
And with that I am off to another run tonight. I will run to my passions and run away from the distractions of life that keep me away from those passions. The song at the top of this entry is part of my mantra right now and one of the songs I listen to when running with my iPod.