• Eric Dahl

It’s a Marathon

I was recently having a conversation with a close family friend that many situations in life are handled as a Marathon. Now I am by no means a runner and have only done it when forced to in Physical Education courses in school. But I do know that when you are running long distances it doesn’t help to try and be the fastest or the first at the beginning of the race. To reach the end of a marathon we must pace ourselves, stay steady and focus on the end. Our lives, relationships and careers have many hills and valleys. Sometimes it feels like we are constantly running up hill and stepping in potholes, so then we must enjoy the times we are running on flat land or going downhill and embrace those moments. Today at church our Pastor hit up on the same topic of Marathons which I found very interesting as it related to the bible.

I have a tendency to get stressed and worry about things I can’t control and then I dwell on them. This is with family matters and work matters. I envy people that can leave work and shut it off when they walk out the door. Taking walks, working out and playing guitar have helped me some, but not enough. My doctor recently suggested that I try out short 10-minute intervals of meditation each day. Other family members and friends have brought this up to me over the years, but it just sounded too mystic for me. But now there is an App for that and actually many Apps free and paid ones. So, I downloaded a Meditation App on my phone a few weeks ago and I’m making the effort to devote 10 uninterrupted minutes a day to it. Is it changing my life yet, No, but it is does seem to level me out some which is helpful. The next steps will be to work on breathing techniques and mindfulness. It’s a slow and steady pace, but I’m in it for the long haul. Sometimes other people’s actions and requests are not always reasonable in the work or life setting. The problem, for me, is how I react to those situations and allow them to change my mood and things I’m trying to accomplish. It sounds like pyscho-babble but I’m giving others the power to change my thinking, mood and emotions when I shouldn’t. They have their own goals, agendas and directions that may or may not be in line with mine? Some people are potholes in the Marathon of life and they trip us up cause us to stumble or fall as we allow them to redirect our path instead of staying the course. The hardest thing to do is to slow down and evaluate things before reacting to them. I’m making the effort to get up from my desk and walk away from the computer a bit more. Even if this means just going to the hallway and seeing what new promotion project my team is working on it gives my mind a brief break. Another obstacle I face on my personal Marathon is how many projects can I say yes to or try to accomplish before I am totally burnt out and overloaded? This is true for work also and I strive to delegate some duties instead of attempting to do everything myself the way I want it. Even if they are things that we enjoy as humans we can only accomplish so many of them at a time to our fullest ability. I don’t enjoy saying No to something that sounds fun and exciting but sometimes that is the correct response. At a point then we are increasing the weight or load on ourselves and it is too much, and it begins to impede our progress on the road. I guess in retrospect we are all runners whether we physically do it as a hobby or live it in our lives. We are all in our own individual Marathons and we must determine our pace, avoid the potholes, not become weighted down and keeping push forward. And maybe make a little time for a Meditation App to catch our breath?

We are all in some type of Marathon.