Many runners think about it. Some count the days, weeks and years. If you’re like me, you have a big grin on your face when it happens.
That day is today for me.
I’m talking about the day you age up.
For many people, getting older is something they dread. Some will put up a huge fight by going to the plastic surgeon or buying a fancy new red sports car, but for us runners, we look forward to to the day we “age up”. That’s the thing about running, it teaches you how to live. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to fight gray hair. I can’t change the fact that I am aging and running teaches me that maturing is not something to be conflicted over, but something to be excited about.
I’m not sure why I’m so excited about aging up, I really think the competition gets more fierce, but I am. I’m proud to be living my best life and running with other men and women who do the same. Endurance athletes understand each other, we can come from completely different walks of life, yet we still feel that connection with each other. I don’t feel any older, when I pause and think about it. I don’t feel any different than I did 30 years ago, but I do feel a so much more wise and settled in my own skin. Here are a few things that I know now that I did not 30 years ago:
Lessons From Life
* I have learned that people come and go in your life and it’s important to be forgiving. Just because you may not see eye to eye with someone, it doesn’t mean that you can not revisit that friendship in the future. People hurt and are on their own life path, sometimes they do the wrong thing in one moment, but that doesn’t neccessarily mean they are not a good person.
* I have learned that having peace in my life is more important than an argument or the fight to be right.
* I have learned that friendship and love is far more important than just about anything else.
* I have learned that it’s better to put some distance between you and the people who dwell on the negative, are overly competetive, or compare themsleves to you. Sometimes it’s best to have compassion for them from afar.
* I have learned to accept what happens in my life, even if I can’t understand it, don’t want it, and am frustrated by the outcome. I look within at what I can learn from my circumstances and how I can better myself.
* I have learned to love myself, by looking at the small miracles around us in nature. We are part of the same life force behind all natural wonders. Why do we marvel at an amazing animal, tree, or flower and not marvel at ourselves the same way? We are all from the same source, so love each and every person the same way — no one is different.
* I have learned that I am not the voice inside my head. The one who never shuts up, the one who loves to try and drag me down, make me wrong, and tell me I’m worthless. I am not that darkness, and I have the power to tame that voice. I have the choice to identify with it or gently let it know it’s not the boss. My life is peaceful now that darkness doesn’t rule me.
* I have also learned not to let other people’s darkness drag me down. When someone is stuck in their darkness, then it might be time to give someone a sincere silent blessing goodbye.
* I have also learned not to let others live in my head. If someone flips you off, honks at you, is rude in store, or is a general hater, do not give them the power of getting upset back. Walk away peacefully. Never let someone have that much power over you.
* I have learned that it is important to do things that make you feel proud of yourself. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it to excercise self control.
* I have learned that you should pause when you are angry or hurt. It is better to wait before acting out. You can’t take back words.
* I have learned that most great things come in time and that they are never easy to acquire. You must work hard every day toward a larger goal, and nothing great happens over night. Well maybe one night with Adam Levine, but other than that, nothing.
* I have learned that most pain, not everything, is self inflicted. Most of our suffering is something we have control over. When you get tired of hurting, the concept of not allowing our voices to define us really becomes clear and you realize that there is only one way to live: with inner peace. That’s a choice you make. It’s not always easy. It takes work, dedication, and practice.
* I am learning it is best to live with less. The less cluttered and complicated your life is, the more free and happy you feel. This applies to most everything.
* I have learned that experiences and feelings are the essence of life. I used to think it was about living in a nice house, having nice clothes, or driving a nice car. Now I know it’s none of those things. It was how they made me feel that I was after. Then I realized those feelings are 100% free! All I need to do is go for trail run and I’ll get the same feelings, only even more.
* I have learned that it is way better to give with all of your heart with no expectation of anything in return, than it is to receive. Extending your hand to others in need is an essential part of life.
* I am learning how to be a better listener. I know how very important this is — everyone deserves to heard.
The greatest thing about getting older is realizing you never stop learning and growing. I never want to be stuck in my life, even if it means being taken down to ground and hurting so bad until I realize what I need to do, what I need to change. For me personally, life is about growing as person and living these next few years here on earth in the best possible way. I am excited about life, happy about aging up! I can not wait to see what I learn in the next 45 years!
A few highlights from my birthday:
This amazing lady right HERE surprised me with a box of goodies!
My 5 year old daughter did my hair:
After track on Tuesday night, these two beautiful women surprised me: Wendy and Polina! My life has changed for the beter since training with them… Wendy is also going to Boston.
My sister gave me one of these… I squealed out loud!
My Mom is incredible, I have to post about her sometime. Her story is unreal, she is my inspiration. I love this candle she gave me, among other very nice things:
My friend Brenda who I have known since I was 9 years old, dropped this off on my doorstep this morning: I’m so blessed, I love my life.
I woke up and found these in the kitchen from my kids — I love pictures. Kids have nothing to give, so these gestures are huge for them and for me too.
And my day is not over yet! 45 has been incredible so far. Life is so damn good!