Sometimes All You Need Is A Change of Tunes

I am a self-taught amateur runner. I have been running every day for over 20 years except for when I am on vacation. At least 3 days of my 7-day runs are for 10-12 Kilometres / 6.5-7.5 Miles each time. Safe to assume that my knees are destroyed, but that has not stopped me from doing what I love.

Occasionally I hit a mental block that makes my running goals unattainable. Case in point, my recent warm up runs required me to run for 20 minutes at 5.8 miles per hour at an incline of 16 feet. It is not a difficult run, but one that I failed to achieve for most of July 2020. My body wanted to run but my mind stopped me every day within a few minutes into the run.

So, I came up with a plan: I decided to run for one minute on August 1st and increase it by one minute each day so by August 20th I would achieve my 20 minutes target. That plan failed on August 16th and it was back to mental blocks and all the excuses why I could not do it.

I tried running at different times of the day, switched up what I ate before my runs and changed everything else that I could think of at the time to help me overcome my mental block. Nothing worked. I failed every day somewhere between the 13th and the 16th minute into the run.

But something clicked early this morning, 2 days after my target date to achieve my running goal. I woke up this morning telling myself that today was the day, come hell or high water. Before the run, my wife walked into the gym and wished me luck. I wore my oldest Adidas running shoes in the closet. And changed my running music album to hard rock. That was it! I zoomed through the run and probably could have ran for another hour or two.

This experienced brought forward key life lessons for me:

  1. Failure should be a motivation.
  2. If you hit a roadblock in life, do not give up and keep chipping at it.
  3. If your solutions do not work, change them up and keep searching for different solutions.
  4. Surround yourself with cheerleaders that are genuinely interested in your success.
  5. Rely on old friends, to pick you up and propel you forward.
  6. Find a new tune to help you run or dance through life.
  7. Celebrate your successes regardless of how small and irrelevant they may seem.
  8. Share your failures to teach and motivate others and to give them hope.

I lived through the 1979 Iran revolution, Iran-Iraq war, sought refuge in Istanbul, where Turkish government and Turks graciously embraced us for almost 3 years, and forced me to learn English in about 3.5 months upon arrival in Canada in 1988 (that is not to say that I have mastered the English language; in fact, I don’t speak a single language properly 😊). But those were the big challenges, with a capital “B”, in my life. In between, there were a whole lot of smaller challenges that I had to deal with. And trust me when I say that there is not a single day that I do not thank the higher power(s) and my lucky stars for the fortunate turn of events. Yes, I consider myself lucky and blessed.

The one thing that I learned from my life experiences was that life always goes on. It never stops until it stops for good.

I hear it often how people “just want to go back to the way things were”, and that they are yearning for some level of normalcy, and that they are “looking forward to heading back to the office so they can getaway from their families, with whom they have been stuck with for weeks”.

I get that there is peace in routine and safety in normalcy, but why not look at the opportunities that COVID-19 has presented us with? Some examples may include spend more time with loved ones, take advantage of online learning resources, build proficiency in how best to use technology to communicate more effectively and efficiently, and learn to recognize “wins” while working remotely.

  • Despite the financial hardship, why not look at our time spent with family as an unexpected gift?
  • Why not seek out a better life post COVID-19?
  • Why not look for better ways of doing things instead of what we have done already?
  • Why not look back at our lives prior to COVID-19 and find ways to improve those aspects that needed improvement without keeping our heads in the sand and pretending that everything was simply fine?
  • Why not look hard and find personal and business opportunities in what we are experiencing?
  • Why not take the opportunity to find and redefine ourselves as individuals?

Do you agree with me?

What are your thoughts about what life should look like after COVID-19 is put to rest?

I look forward to reading your thoughts. Thanks for taking the time to read my opinion.

Thanks for reading and may you run through life like a breeze.


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