I had nothing really to write about all week until I ran in a half marathon along with the brilliant Ali and Sarah yesterday lunch time. Ideally I like to be totally race fit if I’m going to enter so standing on the start line I was feeling under prepared and fearful that I was not only going to let myself down but also my family, friends, countrymen and mankind in general!
As I set off, I thought “if only there weren’t so many hills then perhaps I would do ok”. We do this the whole time: set external conditions to determine our internal happiness and well being.
Classic examples include:
“If only I could lose half a stone then I’ll be happy”.
“Once I have a bit more time, then I can get fit/address my diet”
“Once I get through the next 3 months of work, then I can relax”
“Once I retire, then I can enjoy life”
“Once I’m earning such and such, then I can enjoy life”
“Once I get fit, then I’ll come to Fitness Divas”
I even found myself thinking at the beginning of the weekend “once the race is over then I can enjoy myself”.
The problem of setting these conditions is that all the while we’re waiting for them to happen, life and all the great things (happiness, fitness, health, relaxation) that we want in our lives are passing us by. We’re spending large amounts of time waiting for things to be how we want them before we can do or have x, y or z.
Very soon into the race I faced up to the fact (based on past experience) that not only were there hills in the race but that they kept coming right up to the last mile. So the thinking has to become “how can I enjoy this race and do well knowing that there are hills all the way through?” How can you be fit, healthy, happy and enjoy life knowing that the challenges and obstacles of life will just keep coming. Like the hills, they will always be there.
What if you never lose that half stone? What are the ways you could be happier living with the extra weight?
What if you never get any more time? What are the ways you could be fitter now?
What if the busy time at work never ends or that you never earn any more? How can you enjoy life and relax now? etc. etc.
We have no idea what’s going to happen in the future so to ensure a rich, full, healthy life you have to concentrate on what you want your life to be like right here, right now. You can construct it how you want without waiting for external conditions.
I loved the race and yes it was absolutely brilliant lying on the sofa with aching limbs and satisfaction glowing through my cosy clothes but I’d made sure that the weekend up until then had been good too.