To Run Or Not To Run? - Defining Wisdom, Courage, and FUN!

So who is right?

For me, they both are. Barefoot running, even more than when I was a shod runner, brings out the child in me. Usually, it takes the disciplined will of my "adult" to get out there every day and go for a run. Not every day do I want to. Some days, it is a matter of telling myself that you'll be sorry you didn't get out and take advantage of my daily run. The first mile, sometimes, is tough. From time to time, I am feeling stiff and sore from the previous day's run. As I get past the first mile, however, I start loosening up and the "child comes out to play". What a wonderful daily reunion I have with that special, inner being! For the next several miles, we smile, run, and play together. Couldn't ask for a better playmate!

Then, there is a THIRD inner being that I don't like so much. I call him the inner "lazy" child. This is the one who would rather talk about running rather than doing it. He tells me that I should only go run when I "feel" like it -- that this type of running is the only way to know real freedom and enjoyment. This inner being does not like discipline and a forced approach to running. He thinks he knows best because, after all, if it doesn't feel good, why do it? If there is any pain involved whatsoever, he doesn't want a thing to do with it. He fears, irrationally most of the time, that pain leads to injury. Most of this unfounded fear is based on his own sloth.

I try not to listen to "Lazy Little Ricky". He has really never given me any good advice. He tells me that if I run every day that I will get injured. Hmmmm ... he's been wrong on that one. I probably have only missed two or three weeks of running since I started barefoot running in October '03 and have logged over 5500 miles. The rest of the time I have ran every day (my current running streak is 113 days without a day off with an average of 7 miles per day). So far, by the grace and wisdom of God, I have not been injured to the point where I could not run the next day -- grace, because I believe that God has given me the ability, and wisdom because I know that sometimes "Little Playful Ricky" would just want to run and run and run and then I would get injured.

So, for me the balance is kind of summed up in the Serenity Prayer:

"God, grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change
(Co-habiting with "Little Playful Ricky" and "Adult Rick")

The courage to change the things I can,
(Not listening to "Little Lazy Ricky")

And the wisdom to know the difference.
(Deciding the best advice for the moment -- whether to play, run, or not!)


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