Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wanting More of the Good Stuff



Sunday I ran the ten-mile Mountain Goat Run. I went into it expecting to do ten-minute miles and feel good at the end. I was able to do that without much trouble and finished the race feeling great. Oddly, for me, I feel now like I wanted something more.

For the past day and a half I've had a stomach bug. It hit hardest last night when I went down for ten hours of sleep. I went into work this morning only to turn around half an hour later and come back home to bed for another four hours of sleep. I've spent the remainder of the day reading on the couch trying to rest and recover. Though I'm still tired, I feel stronger.

Tomorrow, if I wake feeling good, I'll go for a run and I might peek at my watch a bit more than usual. I don't want to be ruled by it, but I want to see if I have something more inside. That curiosity makes me happy tonight.

The question I have about much of my life is whether I'm settling for too little from myself. I worry about that when it comes to writing, working, raising my daughters, and so on. Running is a good test of what I have in reserve. If I have more to give on the run, that lesson can transfer to other areas of my life.

The tricky part is the balancing. I know I can lower my Mountain Goat pace to nine-minute miles if I devote tremendous energy to it, but I risk losing track of other things that matter more. I need to balance more running (or writing, reading, working, etc) by letting go of things that don't matter, things that don't make me happy, things I'm better off without. I'm already on a good path for that.

One thing that's not much good for me is television. I eat in front of the television, I stare at the computer while the television is on, I grumble about commercials and the quality of the shows. I pretty much get miserable the longer I look at the thing. So it's good that I'm not looking at it very often. I've watched two hours of television this week. I didn't decide to stop watching nor am I boycotting all future broadcasts. I'm just not watching a lot right now. Thus far, that simple change has been making me happy.

In the past I have been happier when I get up early in the morning. I wish that I was the type who woke at five ready to get up, but I'm not. It's something I have to teach my body. Years ago, I got up every morning and went to the gym by 5:30. It made me inordinately happy. Remembering that happiness is the way I'll start training myself to enjoy and get out of bed in the mornings.

All of this is to say that I feel good about how things are working in my life right now. I liked that I was able to easily run ten-minute miles over the hills of Syracuse. I like that I'm reading more and watching television less. I like that my body is feeling healthier now than I did yesterday in the midst of that stomach bug. Yet I want to feel even better. Is that greedy? If it is, I can live with the guilt of feeling that kind of greed. It's the same thing that makes me want to run farther, read another book, spend another moment with my family, and be a better man.

It's the same thing that has me wanting every day to write on.