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Don’t Complain All the Way to the Finish Line

Posted Jun 05 2013 6:56am

When I woke up on Tuesday morning, laced up my sneakers and walked out the apartment door, I thought mother nature was playing a trick on me. Could it really be crisp and cool? Nah, I thought. Must be dreaming. It’ll heat up soon enough.

But then, there I was, standing on the stairs that lead up to Lexington Avenue, soaking in every second of that sweet, sweet 57-degree air — and it wasn’t going anywhere. Holy perfection, I could hardly believe it. I wanted it to never, ever end. Ever.

Central Park, here I come.

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It’s funny, because given the circumstance, I should have felt strong on Tuesday morning’s run; I should have been ready to pound pavement, to eat traffic, to nom nom the pathways of sunny Central Park.

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Following Saturday’s hot and sweaty run around the Central Park reservoir, I took the day to be beyond lazy on Sunday, followed by a living room strength training session on Monday (lots of rain, lots of ab work).

Instead, on Tuesday, as I got going, my feet slowly clomping one in front of the other, I realized how tired my body truly was. I’m not saying there was an explanation or excuse for it; I’m simply relaying what and how I felt.

It’s amazing what flawless weather can do for the body and soul — a silver lining that uplifts a sleepy sunrise run no doubt.

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While I felt heavy and exhausted from start to finish, I was nevertheless driven by the sheer comfort of my surroundings and the fact that right then, during that hour, I was likely to be experiencing the only hour of my day on Tuesday when I would spend time enjoying the sun, the breeze, the fresh air.

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So I dug deep. I searched for those sensory blinders that enable us to push through pain and exhaustion and ignore the worst of sensations. I tried my hardest to appreciate the positive that surrounded me. Ultimately, I think it kind of worked.

While I can’t say I felt strong or tough during those 60 minutes or so outdoors (especially not during my ab work by the Bethesda Fountain)…

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(Cue the pained face…now!)

…I certainly felt at ease — physically and mentally — much like a tricky yoga pose in which you have to convince yourself that you’re capable of more than you think.

I am capable of more than I think.

You are capable of more than you think.

Whether yoga or running or any other form of physical hardship and stress, sometimes, all we need is to identify whatever it is that can give us the strength to get through a challenge or obstacle — whether that’s a perfect spring morning or the water at the end of the race. Because when we can savor the little things — those tokens of our efforts — it makes all the stress of getting to that end-point finally worth it.

That’s far better than simply complaining all the way to the finish line, and in the end, it’s something we can apply to our everyday lives.

Even if it’s drunken painting after work. Who am I to judge?

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What do you focus on — big or small — to overcome hurdles on the track of your life?


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