Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Run

The contents of a rich life consists of experiencing meaningful events. I've said it many times before: the title of my autobiography will be "Certificate of Participation." Being first. Winning. Achieving dominance in a given enterprise is not as important as having a wealth of experiences to draw from to comprise the "act of living." I've never really developed a strong streak of competitiveness. However, years ago I developed "adventure" as a personal value. Thus, new things to do and see holds great appeal; this includes achieving milestones that are never too late to add to one's catalog of meaningful moments.

Because fitness is a universal indicator of our ability to manage ourselves, I've desired a life characterized more by fitness than sloth because the disciplined life can yield greater blessings than the undisciplined existence. Bodily fitness can be achieved through a variety of means. Some use cycling, jogging, hiking, biking, swimming or martial arts. The avenues to fit a life are too numerous to comprehensively list here. Suffice it to say that an active body if better than an inactive one, regardless of the activity chosen with which to remain active. Nevertheless, since inactivity is often more easily achieved than activity, motivation is at a premium. One does not need motivation to do nothing. Motivation is needed to overcome one's propensity for sloth and to sufficiently exercise the body.

What, then, was the motivation to exercise regularly whether or not conditions or comforts cooperated? Simple: a specific goal written on a date.

By signing up for the YMCA Thanksgiving Day "Turkey Dash" well in advance (even paying money!), I had committed myself to a measurable goal on a specific date. Therefore, I had to run on a regular basis in progressive distances to make sure that the race day goal (5K) was completely doable. However, the achieving of the goal on Thanksgiving was not the greatest value. It was was whole experience of people out for this community event, with 2,000 other runners in the neighborhood. It was a rewarding experience, and I felt enriched for having participated. Singing up for a couple of these each year will keep me motivated to maintain a fit body the rest of the time. But the chief value in these is in being with so many people for a fun community event. Again, my "certificate of participation" will be the prize of a full life.

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