Monday Meditation: Looking Ahead

31 Dec

As 2012 comes to a close, it is natural to reflect on the past year of running and see how we measured up to the goals we set out with and make new ones. This has the potential to either be a great exercise in self-evaluation and commitment or a slippery slope of judgment and defeat.

“It comes with age, of course. The older we get, the greater the shift in proportions from life ahead of us to the living behind us, the more we look back and the less ahead… But runners can’t live in the past. Once we quit looking ahead, we become ex-runners… The past is a nice place to visit, but we can’t live there.” 

– Joe Henderson, Best Runs   (Source)

Running cannot physically occur in the past, so why do we so often stick ourselves there psychologically? It is easy to get caught up in the goals we didn’t meet, races we didn’t enter, miles we didn’t run, or paces we didn’t break. We can be so critical of ourselves when things don’t go as planned that we miss out on a vital part of the process.

By design, running occurs in the present moment with the body facing forward. Try it any other way, and you might find yourself veering off course or stumbling. The same can be said about the mind. The past can provide us with some valuable information, but staying present-focused and looking ahead is what is going to keep you on course.

While you outline your running resolutions for 2013, go ahead and set stronger and faster goals. But don’t make it about what you didn’t achieve last year. Set your mind and body to face forward and run on.

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