Determination: Everyone Has It


On Saturday a friend of mine commented on my determination. Here’s why.

EARLY that morning I was scheduled to run 12 miles with my friend, Steve. Later that day I was to help my hubs with some projects at his mom’s house. Saturday night it was on to a birthday party to help the above-mentioned friend ring in her 50th. But nothing about the day went as planned.

I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. I needed time to drink enough coffee to enable me to form complete sentences by the time I met Steve. When I was about 10 minutes away from our meeting place, the sky opened and it poured rain. Steve and I had a quick cell phone chat and we decided to cancel the morning run. I drove back home. Recognizing the weather was scheduled to clear later in the day, I switched my activities around and helped hubs that morning and would run solo that afternoon. After having such a great time a few weeks ago running a 10-miler with Steve, I dreaded grinding out a 12 miler alone.

(Gentlemen, you may wish to stop reading now). I felt physically horrible due to female issues. I had no energy and I felt like a bloated, beached whale. On the way home from helping hubs I called the birthday girl to confirm the evening’s plans. I casually mentioned that my 12-miler was going to take longer than normal because of how I was feeling. I told her I was just going to take my time and not worry about it. She responded, “Ok, that’s the difference between me and you. If I were going to run 12 miles and I felt terrible, I’d cancel the run. You’re just going to run slower. I wish I had your determination.” I mumbled something about being registered for the half marathon and not wanting to embarrass myself. Actually, it never occurred to me to cancel the run. My training plan called for a 12-miler. It didn’t call for “a 12-mile run only if you feel up to it.”

The run was grueling. I began about 12:45 and I was on the course during the warmest part of the day. I believe the high was 78-degrees, about 20 degrees warmer than what I’ve been used to so far this year. There were times I felt like Tim Conway’s little old man character, barely shuffling along. One step at a time, I covered 12 miles (12.1 miles, actually). Once finished, my lower back was killing me, my feet hurt, my knees felt tender and I had a slight sunburn. Oh, and I was exhausted from the early wake-up time, project work with hubs, and um, you know. I’m not painting a very pretty picture regarding the joys of running. Actually, I love to run. Saturday just happened to be one of those days when the wheels fell off. Every runner has days like that. Heck, everyone, runner or not, has days like that.

Back to my friend and her comment. Her words were in my head during most of the run. I believe most people have endless determination and focus regarding the things that matter to them. I just happen to be on a stated two-year fitness journey (which I don’t plan to end after two years). That’s my focus. My friend on the other hand, has other things in her life to which she applies effort and determination. She’s created a home environment that everyone enjoys. Her house is the place to hang out. If I dropped in unexpectedly, her place would look just as fantastic as it does when she throws a party. My house is constantly cluttered. And while I would love to live in a clutter-free environment, I must not want it enough to do the footwork to have it. My friend is a member of the “sandwich generation” meaning she’s dealing with aging parent issues while raising a teenager. Do I have to tell you about the demands on her time? I don’t have children to plan my workouts around. I couldn’t do all of the things she does. Yet she admires my workouts.

While my friend and I aren’t in competition, I can make a list of many things that she is so much better at than I am. It’s all a matter of where we choose to spend our energies.

She’s doing good stuff. I’m doing good stuff. It’s all good.

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2 Responses to Determination: Everyone Has It

  1. JoAnn Jolly says:

    Well, well. Finally had time to sit down and enjoy this blog entry. Nicely done, Pamo. I guess you are right though … we all have determination in different areas. I’ll let you in on a secreat …the constant home organizing I do is my way of having control over SOMETHING when I feel I have control over nothing. I can’t control my dad’s health, or when he is going to fall out of bed next, or aspirate, or run a temp of 103; I also can’t control Gabby’s rehearsal schedule, or what I have to take where when, or who I have to pick up from point A and deliver to point B, but I can organize something and enjoy immediate satisfaction .. and I control it every step of the way! It’s gratifying! But in the end .. I still wish I had your commitment and self-discipline … I’d look better than my living room 🙂

    • pamojamo says:

      Welcome to my comments section, Jo. (By the way, you just outed yourself as the subject of this blog post.) You’re right. Non of us has control over people, places, events, institutions. We are only responsible for how we handle life’s ups and downs.
      But you’ve still got the rockin’ hang out place!

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