Just Keep Looking Down

One of my favorite children’s books (I have many!) is, “Oh The Places You’ll Go!” By Dr. Suess. It’s so full of positive energy and sentiment!

“OH! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the high fliers

who soar to high heights!”

You have been hearing and seeing my “Great Sights” and “High Heights”….. However there will always be days like today…

“Except when you don’t.

Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so

but, sadly, it’s true

that Bang-ups

and Hang-ups

can happen to you.”

I will admit, I’m embarassed when I “grumble” and feel low, I feel a bit ashamed. I have nothing to complain about. God is good and I am well taken care of…however, I have my moments.

Today was a moment. I felt discouraged, disappointed, and angry with myself.

I needed to do something to turn my mood around and the only way I knew to do that was to run. It was sunny out and not too cold. Half-heartedly I set a goal: RUN 6. DON’T WALK. It would be a first, as I’ve been walking on my previous runs.

I set out, grumpy. Discouraged. Mad.

But I started.

I set an even pace and just told myself to keep at it.

I looked up and thought about the hour I had ahead of myself. I felt discouraged. I didn’t want to be doing this. I took a deep breath….It felt good to move. It felt good to feel the sun on my face….I could do this! On mile 4 I wanted to walk, my nose was running, my hips were aching, I was bored, this wasn’t glamorous or exciting, and I just thought I should walk a little….I Looked ahead and thought of the two miles I had to go.

I was even more discouraged….

Usually I look ahead and set small goals for myself- “Run to that pole as fast as you can then walk”…. or “Run to the road and then you can walk”.

But this time I didn’t want to walk…and I had two miles to go!

This time I tried something different….

I LOOKED DOWN.

I looked at my feet and told myself to just keep my eyes at the very next step in front of me and keep going. I reached mile 5. I was still running. More snot was dripping out of my nose and now it was windy and getting colder.

I KEPT LOOKING DOWN. One foot in front of the other. Don’t look up.

I kept thinking about how we’re told to keep our eyes forward, keep our eye on our goal, look ahead to the future….but in this moment, when the goal seemed too large, I just needed to keep my eyes on one foot in front of the other…

And I DID IT. I wiped the snot, I took deep breaths, I ignored my hips, I smiled at the wind…

I not only ran 6 without stopping, I ran 6.4.

And now…

I’m a bit happier now than when I was an hour ago.

I’m proud.

I’m glad I pushed through.

This run, for me… reflects life.

Sometimes, in life “bang-ups” and “hang-ups” no matter how small affect us. They can pull us down a little or they can pull us down and never want to let us come back up….the “snot”, “cold”, “wind”, “aches and pains” of life just make us want to STOP AND WALK…or GIVE UP on the goal. The goal seems SO FAR AHEAD, really it’ll take too long and be too hard to accomplish.

My thought….LOOK DOWN, not up. Keep your eyes on one foot in front of the other, wipe the snot from your nose, take some deep breaths, enjoy the monotony of the rhythm of life and just keep pushing through no matter how boring or lackluster. The reward will come….just keep looking DOWN.

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