To kick things off with this post, we’re just about to officially wrap up our Pledge It for the Sackett family. My initial goal was $5,000, and if I were honest, I actually didn’t believe we’d hit that when I put it together. At the time this post is written, we’ve collected $9,127 to help launch an education fund for Ethan, Tessa, Carly, and Grace Sackett following the passing of their mother, Susan.
I’m finding that I’m a pretty reflective and visionary person. I’m constantly thinking about what I’m up to (big picture) and where I’m going (huge picture). When I get into a slump or I get lazy, it’s often because I lose sight of the big picture. This post is primarily about running, but if you know me you’ll know it’s about much more.
The Silence After the Storm
I’ll admit that after the marathon, I got a little “flustered” (I guess you can say it that way). I resonated with what I was reading about depression, I quickly shifted out of my normal routines, I grew less motivated at work (don’t worry, my boss wouldn’t be learning that by reading this), and I didn’t know what to do with myself because I didn’t have a daily workout to check off or a race to prepare for. It was a weird feeling. I was tired of not knowing what’s next for me and running. And if I were quite honest, I was more disappointed in not qualifying for Boston than I think I led on to others.
Some people might think that’s kind of crazy. And for you, knowing you have a race coming up may be overwhelming. You’d be happy when it’s over. But I like it. I like to be pushed daily. I get bored if not. For running, I like to learn what I can and cannot eat while an hour into a run. What shoes take care of me and what socks give me blisters? How I can run more efficiently, knowing what to do to keep my heart rate low or not wear out my legs on certain terrain? The more I learn about running, the more I learn about what is possible—and how much more there is to running than just putting one foot in front of the other.
I believe that all of us need that healthy dose of being uncomfortable in order to keep us growing. Show up someplace where you don’t feel comfortable. Sign up for a community 5K. Visit someplace that you’ve never even heard of before (I have, and boy do I have a story to share about that). Try a new food. Listen to a new audiobook. Ride a rollercoaster, even if it terrifies you.
I Feel Uncomfortable
After the marathon, I went to Cedar Point with Kortney, her sister (Kiley), and her brother-in-law (Mike). We’ve been family for years now and about once a year I get the same question toward the tail-end of summer. “Jason, want to go to Cedar Point?” Every year I have either evaded the question or awkwardly answered, shooting down their dreams of screaming at the top of their lungs while their stomach shoots into their chests. I just don’t like rollercoasters.
To be honest, I process everything at the moment and it just makes it not fun. I think of everything that could go wrong (but seldom ever does). I make the feeling in your gut out to be much more than it is. And the list of excuses goes on as I would reply, “Nahhh… I’m not really into rollercoasters.” It not a big deal for most, but I said yes this year. We got tickets, we showed up, we rode a ton of crazy rides. I won’t pretend to have liked every second of it, because I was terrified. But I rolled with it and it was actually a lot of fun. I’d even go back…
I’m writing for my own sake, mainly because I’ve been learning a lot lately. Goals are a great thing, and it’s okay to experience a lull after achieving or completing something huge. You may even find that you’re ready for something bigger, something that you thought impossible before your first goal or lull (I’ll soon share the next crazy goal that I’ve got in the works). And not only are goals a good thing to keep you moving forward, but there are times when you’ve just got to embrace being uncomfortable because you’re growing. And I will add, “uncomfortable” is not the only word I’d use to describe how I felt when I was buckled into the rollercoaster—I was wondering if I had a change of pants packed in the car.
My friend Susan, who I update you on at the start of this blog post, reminded me before she passed that we can only take things in stride—one step at a time. She was talking in part about my marathon, but we both knew we were talking primarily about life. So my challenge is to think today about how you can stretch yourself and embrace feeling uncomfortable, whether it’s a big goal or just a small step. If you have something that comes to mind immediately, write it below to put a name to it.