Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Always Run Downhill

In eighth grade, we had to take cross country as a cycle of gym class.  As a completely out of shape fourteen year old, this was a horrific experience.  Everyday we were brought outside and were expected to just keep running until the period was over.  (I'd like to add at this point that as a grown up, I have come to enjoy long distance running for fun and exercise and have even done a handful of 5K races, but as a middle schooler, this was definitely not my idea of a good time).
I had a gym teacher who had the reputation of being the toughest one in the school - although when I look back on it now, he was really just loud and expected a little more from us by eighth grade.  He always referred to us by Mister or Miss Last Name.  So that autumn, I hauled myself around the school property listening to my teacher calling out: "C'mon, Miss Crawford! Pick up the pace a little!"
Something that has always stuck with me from that experience is my teacher's insistence that we always run downhill.  "At least run downhill," he would say, explaining loudly to us that gravity is already pulling you along, so you might as well take advantage of it.  No matter how tired I am on a run now, I always keep running if I'm headed downhill - with his voice in my head.
I believe you can take those words of running advice and apply them to other parts of your life as well.  While a lot of times things can be very difficult and you feel like you are dealing with an uphill battle, sometimes everything can seem to go easy for a little.  It's during those easy moments that you really need to take advantage of the "gravity" helping you along for once.
When you find yourself awake a half an hour earlier than your alarm, and *gasp*, you are actually wide awake - get up and get going!  When you come home from work and you still have energy, tackle a task that you have been putting off.  When something gets cancelled and you find yourself with extra time, take advantage of it to get something done now that would frazzle you later.
We all know that life can get very crazy, the days can get very overwhelming, and you can get very tired.  Many times you simply don't want to do the things that you have in your schedule.  But every now and then, the moment comes when you find that you really don't mind.  Don't push off something until you really don't have the time or the energy to get it done.  When you have "gravity" on your side, at least run downhill.  Even if you drag yourself the rest of the way - always run downhill.

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