Sunday, August 21, 2011

It doesn't matter what you do, it matters who you are

That's my latest one liner of life instruction for my kids. Another one I use: "There is no try, there is only do!" Yoda philosopher king. "A human that never quits is never defeated." I think that's Fred Thompson.

It's interesting to try and distill life into manageable pieces of instruction for minds whose attention span is measured in single digit seconds. A long lecture about respect and hitting produces that expression that clearly communicates that your child's mind is on space, feathers, running, magic, roll around, favorite song...and your important lecture is not in that list.

I just read an article about parenting and the conclusion of many recent studies shows that what parents do for children is less important than who they are. All the flash cards in the world won't help if you are stressed out and distracted. Another study tried to find correlations in childhood circumstances, to those who had attained their PhDs. What did they find? The only strong correlation was that almost every single adult PhD said they had eaten dinner with their families most nights as children.

When running, who you are matters very much. If you allow yourself to focus on pain, discomfort, or even if you just try to convince yourself to do it because you should, it will be unpleasant. You have that person in you that is able to bring a peaceful and attentive approach to even the most unpleasant activities. You know, the one who is able to take a deep breath and spend some time in the moment with your kids, or with yourself, even though it may mean an interruption in your very important plans for the day. That moment where you relinquish control and discover what the moment has in store for you is your running savior.

It's the ability to let go. I ran today and had to do it slowly for a few miles to make sure my foot wasn't going to act up. It didn't but I had to be pretty attentive to my form and to stay slow. I'm running the Grand Rapids Barefoot 5k next weekend and one part of me just wanted to go faster. "How are you going to win at this speed?" Thanks voice. How am I going to run with a bloody stump for a foot?

Let go, just run. Let go, just be a kind dad. Listen don't talk. Ask questions don't give answers. Shut up in there and let life happen a bit. Hammer parenting never produced healthy kids and hammer running is what produced a jacked up foot.

Good running and good living!

No comments:

Post a Comment