I’ve told myself a lot of things over the years ; “Life would be so much better if I did .” A good friend and I were talking yesterday, and she told me that she was a lifelong runner but had to give it up because of hip issues from a lot of long and hard runs. She misses it terribly. “Nothing can take its place,” we discussed (as I had to give up running in the past and am now able to do it again). I thought years ago that running for me could be better if I did races and distance. Because of long runs, I ruined the activity for me. My knees hurt and I had to stop because of the pain. I ruined something that I dearly loved because I had to “make it better”. How often do we add too much salt to our proverbial dinners to “make it better”, and we end up ruining a good thing?
The question is “how much is too much?” How do we find the sweet spot? I look back at my running. Why did I feel the need to push myself into longer, harder runs? Why couldn’t I just enjoy the activity for what it was?
Last night, I was telling my nephew Eric that I’d rather go to a restaurant with a limited menu then go to the most amazing buffet in the world. “Why?” he asked. Because when given everything, I look forward to nothing. “Huh?” he replied. The Dodge Dart, my first car, in 1974 was (in my humble opinion) the worst car in the world. It leaked like a sieve, it cut out every time I took a left hand turn, and was ugly to boot – but it was my first car… And even though it was dreadful and slow, I loved it and drove it for a very long time. And every car I got after that* I appreciated more than if I got a fancy first car as I was given next to nothing and now looked forward to everything.
So with running or whatever – if you are the Dodge Dart of runners (slow and ugly) but it meets your needs, love it. Don’t try and change it or upgrade, enjoy it for what it’s worth, because someday you’ll collapse in a pile of rust and dust. BUT be happy that you’ve lived your life completely and without regret.
*I was bartending one day and looked out to the parking lot and the car literally collapsed when the rust that was holding it up gave out.
-Steve Simonin, President & CEO