Life is hard already…Try not making it harder.

One of the training techniques for running that I have embraced over the past month is focusing on the amount of time I run rather than the distance.

When I focused on distance, I constantly looked at my watch to gauge how fast (or slow) I was going, and it weighed on me heavily.

Now that I have been focusing on time, I am just enjoying the run and not worrying about how far I go. This approach (supposedly) can help build endurance in your muscles, and later, you will be able to go at faster speeds over longer distances.

And of course, that is part of the goal. I want to become a better runner.

But I also want to enjoy running.

Before, my whole day (even week) could be caught up on how good I did on my weekend long run. It led me to dread not just the run but the feeling of failure after.

Focusing on time and enjoyment has actually helped improve my speed. A weight had been lifted.

I write all of this after a two-hour run during which I went out for 60 minutes one way and then turned around.

The first 60 was great. It was extremely hot, but I was feeling good, and my legs were fresh.

Then I went to my phone to change the podcast I was listening to, and because of the sweat on my hands, I dropped my phone, and the screen smashed on the ground. Immediately, I realized this phone was done. I know it is a phone and it can be replaced, but this run was being done prior to a two-week stint on the road. I hate to admit how much I need my phone, but I am not sure I can pull over to gas stations and ask for maps the way one used to back in the day.

All of a sudden, my joyful run turned into a stress-ridden affair. The lightness in my feet evaporated, and it felt like I was carrying a huge weight on my shoulders on the second leg of the run. The heat started getting to me, and the 60 minutes home turned into about 75 minutes. The worry of the future took away the joy of the present.

This was a reminder that mental health and physical health are related. Anecdotally, from my personal experience, I can attest to this. For years, my depression and anxiety were overwhelming, but since I lost weight, those things have vastly improved. I can’t say they are gone, but I just seem to deal with life better than I used to.

But hey, life happens.

Sometimes, we can’t control what is in front of us, and the moment can weigh on us in a way that is harder to navigate than other times.

Yet, on the other hand, what is our consumption of negatives in our lives? I am not only talking about food, but the media we listen to and the people we surround ourselves with.

Sometimes, during a long run, I will turn on a news or political podcast, and when I feel it is getting too negative, I turn it off and listen to upbeat music. I can feel the weight being lifted from my legs.

And sometimes, when I get into a conversation with an overly negative person, I look for an exit. I have learned that if I feel worse after interacting with a person, then I limit my interactions with said person.

But we don’t always get to pick our bosses, colleagues, and the people we serve. We don’t always get to choose what happens to us in a day.

That being said, I do limit those interactions in any way possible. I know that how I feel mentally will affect me physically, and how I feel physically will impact me mentally. There is no separating the two (or three if you consider the emotional toll).

Moral of the story; crap will happen and it could ruin your day. When it does, I do my best to go into my “neutral thinking” mode and say, “What is the next thing I can do?” (Thanks Trevor Moawad)



But some of the things in our life that make us feel crappy, are things we are allowing into our lives more than they deserve to be there.

If you don’t like your work situation or personal place in life, pull back and ask yourself what you are consuming and who you are surrounding yourself with.

Obstacles will be thrown away that we will have to deal with.

That is life.

But some of the issues we deal with are because of our own choices. Once we recognize that is a YP (Your Problem), then we have the opportunity to step back and ask if this makes us better or worse.

A lot of life is what happens to you, but most of it is what we choose for ourselves. Make the best choices possible.

(Not written from an iPhone)

4 thoughts on “Life is hard already…Try not making it harder.”

  1. Thanks for the reminder and advice, George. I appreciated the post…and sorry about your phone 😉 Keep running!

  2. Thank you for sharing the quote from Trevor! Neutral thinking does not come easily when challenged, but once achieved yields a lifetime of freedom and possibilities.

  3. clip downloader

    Your blog is a testament to your dedication to your craft. Your commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect of your writing. Thank you for being such a positive influence in the online community.

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