Sunday, October 3, 2010

Running Against the Wind

Running six miles when the wind is blowing 20 miles an hour (like this morning) is not easy, but then neither is striving to achieve your personal greatness. It's important to remember that neither of them is a sprint and so they share some principles that make it easier to keep going.

Do the tough stuff first. The first decision I encounter on a windy day is which way to go. I always turn into the wind, that way it's easier on the way back. Sometimes you can be tired even at the beginning of a day and thinking about greatness is the furthest thing from your mind. Completing a task early in the day gives a boost of energy to move you through the rest of the day. AND you might get more done than you think.

Shorten your strides. Any time I fight the wind I've learned to shorten my stride. My legs are not as strained when I take the shorter strides and I can still keep up a decent pace. Striving for personal greatness there are times we need to attempt less in a day. Smaller, achievable goals allow us to accomplish something without overstriving and completing nothing. Plus sometimes the smaller goals help us maintain our energy and morale when the going gets tough.

Alter your route. On a calm day I run a route that is wide open with few obstructions and a wide open vista. On a really windy day I change the route and use buildings, hedges and trees to block the wind for me as I make my way to the same end goal. Pursuing a goal you have a tendency to approach it the same way every day. Sometimes changing your approach, especially when it is not working, allows you to move beyond banging your head against a wall and though you are not taking your usual direct route, you are moving toward the same goal.

Enjoy the wind. Though running against a wind is challenging, like the 20 mph wind this morning, I've finally learned that I waste more energy cursing the wind and started accepting it. Learning to appreciate how it changes my run and the challenges it offers helps me maintain energy and learn in the process. When your movement toward personal greatness is challenged, stop for a second and see what you are learning. You might realize something significant about yourself, your goal, or about your opposition.

Let's be real, wind or opposition will always be around sometimes stronger than others. Learning how to deal with it make you able to deal with the challenging moments and still move toward your goal.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Scott, I love this piece! I appreciate the synchronicity you observed in your running and your training in relation to goal setting and living life well. This really hit home. Thanks Scott!