What will you choose today?

Written by: Maddy K.

…to be driven by your excuses, or commitments?

Today I woke up to rain pounding against my window.  It is the first rainstorm of the season.  My plan was to run 5 miles.  I thought to myself, I am going to do it despite the rain.  I got dressed in my running gear, rain jacket and headed out the door.

As I was driving my son to school, having to turn the windshield wipers as high as they would go, I thought to myself, "maybe I shouldn't run today.  I mean it is a total downpour and looks awfully cold, wet and miserable."  I had pretty much convinced myself that I had a perfectly legitimate excuse not to going running.  I was feeling resolved with my decision as I headed back to the car through the pouring rain after walking my son to his classroom.  Then there was the voice in my head that asked a question, "Are you going to be driven by your excuses or commitments?"  Hmmm.  I did not like this question because I had already made up mind not to go running and felt totally justified in my decision.  But I kept pondering it.  It was clear - I was being driven by my excuses.

The next thing I know, I was headed straight for the park with my favorite hiking trails.  The rain was pouring down, not a car or person in sight.  "Wow this kind of exciting," I thought to myself.  I parked the car and headed down one of my favorite trails.  I was so high up that I was literally in the clouds.  It was beautiful and eerie at the same time; water running down the hills making small streams, fog hugging the trees and rain pouring down.  I was completely soaked within the first five minutes, wiping my eyes and spitting out salt.

As I jogged slowly up a long, steady hill I felt exhilarated, completely alive.  I was so happy to be out running in nature. Then it dawned on me that I kept my commitment.  I thought about how if I had gone home, I would be all cozy in my warm house looking out the window at the terrible storm - telling myself that it was a good idea that I decided not to go running.  But knowing that deep down I would have had a tinge of guilt and disappointment in myself for not doing what I said I would - run 5 miles!  In that moment I realized how empowering it is be driven by commitments vs. excuses. It occurred to me that excuses are typically lies we tell ourselves when we don't want to keep our word.

As I reached the top of a very big hill, I felt like a hero, warrior or survivor of some type.  As I started my decent, I carefully navigated the running streams of water and became present to the soothing sound of the stream - the water rushing down the hillside, carrying silt and small rocks. "Wow," I thought to myself, "I am living, I mean really living."  I was present to the beauty of nature and the beauty of my life.  I was thankful for a healthy body that allowed me to run these delightful trails.  I felt at peace in my relationships and a deep sense of love for all living things.

Then the first people came into to view.  I had been running a good 35 minutes before seeing anyone.  They were an older couple, dressed in raingear head-to-toe and carrying umbrellas.  As I jogged passed them they smiled and gave me the thumbs-up signal in unison.  I smiled back and thought, what a great day!

Run in rain

"When your intention is great enough you will ALWAYS find the time and energy to accomplish your desires. You can state excuses to the contrary, but holding on to your old stories is just another way of wasting precious time." - James Arthur Ray

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