Sometimes the first steps are the hardest. All the way through, from toddlerhood to old age, it seems it's always the first steps that require steel eyed courage and matter the most. I don't care if it's stepping into that first yoga class where you don't know a soul or leaving your jerk of a husband, without that motion forward you stall.
As in, no oars in the boat kinda deal.
As I get older I wonder if we forgot how vital it is to keeps making steps forward.
When we are younger motion forward is expected of us, demanded. We navigate through first days of school, first days of soccer, new teachers, new neighborhoods, you name it, we are led by the collar with change. As we get older we seem to settle into things and the ride starts to slow down for us. Years go by and somehow we mellow and the malleable parts of us show themselves. Don't get me wrong, it's OK and necessary in some cases to do this--I think we all know the flip side of not making this change; ever watch over the hill Peter Pan's running around? Ew. Oh-so-not-attractive.
So where is the balance? When to ignite, throw our hat into the ring, keep things fresh? Researchers tell us those who are living healthy and alert into their 80's and 90's have one thing in common; they are passionate about something. Whether it's birdwatching or ballroom dancing, they love it, do it often and have a can't miss frame of mind around it.
I often find myself watching in awe those who push beyond the boundaries, those who don't take no for an answer from life. It would be an understatement to say I worship these people. I think about them on my runs. I dream about them at night. It's like having a PSA in my brain throughout my day. It speaks to me on kind days to "keep going!" and on not so kind days to "stop whining!"
I recently ran a 200 mile overnight relay. It was really hard. Not just the running but the lack of sleep, the cold, the port-o-potty's! I remember feeling especially sorry for myself at one point and at just that moment, almost on cue, whizzing past me comes this guy running- with a prosthetic leg. He has a smile on his face. He has Obama 2008 "yes we can!" campaign energy. He has me feeling like a tool.
We NEED people like this in our lives, heck, we need to be these people. In a society of instant gratification and comfort we need to push back and wake ourselves up from nodding off.
Only then will we be the ones teaching a classroom of kids to hula hoop when we are Ninety-five.
I am getting my hoop out of storage today.