This morning was beautiful here in AZ! We had a brief, very brief, reprieve from our normally hot summer temperatures. Our lows were in the 70’s this morning! Normal lows this time of the year are upper 80’s to low 90’s so, yes, this was NICE! I had a bike ride on my workout schedule today and the cooler temperature just added to my enjoyment!
I love my rides, almost as much as I do my running. I don’t wear any headphones to listen to music on my rides. It’s just safer that way. I find that without music blaring in my ears, I’m much more focused on my thoughts. Of course, family members and friends are always at the forefront of my thoughts and today was no different.
Another thing on my mind this morning was my workout schedule and how important it was to make sure I get my strength training done. It’s not the focus of my workouts, but it is necessary for me to maintain the thing that is my focus, which is running. Without the strength training, all the supporting muscles won’t be able to handle the load that I put on the muscles used to run. You know, how the leg bones connected to the hip bone. I can have a strong leg, but the hip has to be able to support it. If the supporting muscles aren’t strong, I run the risk of injury, which means no run at all. Being on the injury list is extremely frustrating for a runner. I speak from a place of a lot of experience on the subject of injury, so, no matter how busy the schedule, the strength training must be done. It’s the right thing to do.
“What’s the point?” you ask. Those two strings of my thoughts this morning; family, friends and muscles are closely tied. You see, I know people who struggle with things and some of them struggle with their own will and doing what’s right. Of course, we all have our struggles and we’ve all struggled with doing the right thing, but I see a relationship between them and muscles here.
When I started running, just over two years ago, I was over what the ideal weight should be for my build. Like everyone else, I had tried all kinds of diets, cleanses, pills and exercise plans, for years actually. I would have seasons of success, but before long, the weight would be back and whatever muscle I had gained, would disappear. When I started running, I wasn’t doing it to lose weight or get healthy. My only motivation was to be able to run so I could spend more time with my husband, who had started running. Yes, I did lose weight and yes, I did get much healthier and I did love the result!
The benefits that came from running were great motivators to help me keep up the good work, but my focus wasn’t on fewer calories, burning fat or building muscle. Running made me want to eat healthier meals, so my muscles could have the proper fuel they needed to help me continue to do what I wanted to do. I wanted to run, so I took the steps needed to help me do it. Eating healthier was the next right thing for me to do. I started reading about running to gain knowledge. That was the next right thing. I got a coach to give me direction and help me improve, another right thing. A workout plan came with having a coach, thus, I had a workout schedule. Skipping a scheduled workout on days when I didn’t feel like running wasn’t an option, even though there were days I had lots of good reasons to not run. I had a coach to answer to, so I ran. I had to exercise my mind and emotions, stretch beyond my perceived ability and develop a new mental toughness. My focus was on running, the thing I wanted to do. All the resulting benefits of doing the next right thing, were just icing on the cake. Oh, and running lets me have my cake and eat it too!
Let’s jump back to the family and friends who struggle with doing the right thing. What do you think about shifting the focus here, much like my focus shifted from losing weight to just doing what I wanted to do, which was run? If the focus were on doing what we really want to do and we do the next right thing in whatever the given situation, instead of focusing on the thing that we don’t want to be a part of our life, it seems that the results would just fall into place as part of a natural progression. If we focus our time and energy on the goal we want to achieve, instead of the mess we may be surrounded by, we are looking ahead to a better tomorrow, a better future. Keeping our focus on the mess or the thing that’s become a monster with the power to destroy our lives, is like spinning our wheels in the mud. We waste a lot of fuel trying to move forward and we might move a little, but we sink right back in. We get nowhere and we stay stuck in our rut.
It’s going to take some strength training to get us where we want to be. I like to keep things simple, so my suggestion sounds really simple, but it’s not so easy to do. May I suggest that the focus be on exercising the “doright” muscle? That’s pronounced “do right”, and the meaning is simple. It just means that the focus be on doing the next right thing. You focus on the here and now. Even if you find yourself in a very dark place and you can’t see any way out, there is almost always one right thing that you do know to do, so do that. Stop looking at the darkness or the impossibility of the situation. As you do it, you strengthened the “doright” muscle. Often doing the first right thing will help us see what the next right thing should be, so how about another rep. Do it! Maybe that’s all the strength you have for today, but tomorrow is a new day. Plan to wake up and only look at the next right thing to do and do it.
All those little “doright” reps, are just small individual movements, but when you keep doing them, you achieve something much bigger and you get to the place you wanted to go. It reminds me of the story of the donkey who fell into a deep hole. The farmer couldn’t get him out, so he decided to bury him. As the farmer shoveled dirt into the hole on top of the donkey, the donkey shook it off. He made a little movement, a small step on top of the dirt that was supposed to bury him. After many repetitions of those small steps, the donkey found himself in a new place, outside of his hole.
Over time, it’s going to get easier and easier to work the “doright” and before you know it, that muscle will become more toned and defined. People will start to notice the change and compliment you on it. Before you know it, you will have moved forward. You’ll be in that new place now and find it’s not so dark anymore. You’re stronger than that monster from your past and he’s no longer a threat. You’ve become an athlete! And what’s an athlete do?
Give me 100 “do rights”! Now let me see you flex!