adventures in running

April Fools', boxer, dog, dream, ipod, Kanye West, life, run, running, salt lake city, Utah

Recently I started running again.  It's much more fulfilling, enjoyable, and stress releasing this time around.  I think I'm finally in a place that the whole process has become enjoyable and not some hideous chore that's miserable, stressful, demanding, and exhausting.

Much like trading a bad relationship for a good one.

After work these days the weather has been nice enough, read: over 40 degrees, to go for a run in the neighborhood.  There's a two mile stretch, an out-and-back, that does my body, mind, and soul good.  And it keeps me off the busy main street I live on.  It takes me up a decent hill, through a neighborhood, and passed 3 churches of different denominations.  Utah is quite the religious place.

So I was running this route, the sun was shining but there was a chill breeze that made my ears hurt.  I was on the second stretch of the out-and-back, meaning the back part, coming up on the downhill stretch before I turn the corner and cook it back to the apartment complex. I had seen the couple walking their dogs on the other side of the street but didn't pay much attention to them except to notice that both dogs were boxers and they were leashed.  No big.

As I near closer to them, the dogs notice me.  I'm not super worried because, like I said, they are leashed.  I keep going along on my side of the street, aware that they are there, but focused on my steps, breathing, and Kanye West singing angry words in my ears. As I come even with them, I see out of the corner of my eye the dog move suddenly.  I focus my attention there, but don't break stride. 

The owner of the dog didn't see me, or hear me apparently, because I see him let go of the leash.  And that could be my overreaction, the dog certainly could have caught the owner off guard and got away.  Either way, there is now a big boxer dog running at me.  I'm freaking out. I remember dog training class and stop running to turn and face the dog.  Now it's the dog's turn to not break stride and he leaped right on me. So the dog and I are on the ground, my elbows are skinned up, my head hurts, I'm trying to get this dog off of me, I'm yelling, my butt hurts from landing on it, the owner is yelling and running across the street I hope to rescue me before this dog eats me.

And I wake up.  With the sweats, gasping for breath, with a sore throat.

Yep, dreaming.

And you wonder why I'm afraid of boxers.

Happy April 1st everyone.



daffodils, Failure, hope, life, progress, release, spring, sprung, success, Utah, weather

Spring has arrived in Utah.  Finally.  How do I know?  We have a current forecast for rain 7 out of the next 10 days.   And we had some crazy wind yesterday.  So windy that a dust cloud came across the west desert and into the valley. 

Makes me glad that I don't respiratory problems, or that I'm old, and that I'm a bum and put on pajamas as soon as I walked through the door at 6:00.  Yeah, I'm that person.

The other way I know it's finally spring is the daffodils are starting to bloom.  Last week they were just green shoots.  This week they have little yellow heads on them.  I love when the daffodils bloom, it means the tulips are on their way. The bright variety of colors is the perfect way to change from dreary gray everything to blue sky, golden sun, green leaves, and beautiful shade. I'm so ready for some sunny weather.

With spring always comes a new perspective.  A fresh outlook.  New positivity to carry me from the white and chill, through the rain and wind, and to the sunshine of summer. There are certain points during the year that I look back at the last 6-12 months to remember, mourn, forgive and forget, and move the hell on.  Learn from the mistakes and move it forward.  In review, there seem to be the same recurring things I wish I was doing a bit better.  I'm thinking that this spring is the perfect time to clean them up and purge them out.  Folks, I'm moving on.

I have a notebook that I carry with me most days.  Since I'm an over thinker it helps to write down the things that are bothering me so at a more appropriate time I can return to them and sort them out.  There are pages and pages of scribbles.  I don't tear out the pages when they are full or when I've solved the issue.  I just turn to a clean page. This gives me the opportunity to flip back through and review them.

I like this for a couple reason.  1. The variety of colors makes me happy.  It's that simple. 2. Patterns emerge and it helps me to see the triggers. 3. It's a timeline of the happenings in my life.  More so than this blog.

One of the more noticeable patterns is fear.  

What am I afraid of?  Failure. The unknown. Being alone. Uncertainty.

Now, being alone I can solve for.  Being afraid of the unknown and uncertainty is irrational.  I can dismiss those two as mood issues.

But who defines failure? And how do I talk to that person to find out if I'm on a non-failure route?

There are moments in my life that I've looked failure in the face, thrown him the bird, and stepped on him to get to where I want to go.  There are moments that I'm strong enough to climb out of the darkness of failure and find the sunshine of success.

Wow, that was totally corny.

The point is, fear of failure is also irrational.  We define our own failure.  Of course, society has their opinion of what failure looks like and they will be the first to point out that you've reached it.  When you take your courage and define failure for yourself, in the process you also define your own success.  

And why am I so focused on failing anyway?  I should be focused on what success looks like.  Stop worrying about what I don't want and worry more about what I do want.  The list is waaay shorter. So while plans for the rest of the year are in motion, the wheels are turning, projects are in progress, and I'm in motion, I'm also focusing on what success looks like for me.

Not only has spring sprung, but hope has sprung too. And that is a good place to be.