10-28-2022 Intro: Hello and Welcome to the RunRunLive podcast. I have some incredible updates for you today. As for format, heck, who needs format? But as a semi-pseudo-format I’m going to keep dropping these short pieces on self-improvement, and especially how to navigate out of a dark place. I’ll do an intro with a little commentary, Then In section one, I’ve got a piece about self-worth. Then I’ll give you my updates in the outro. … Remember last time we talked about navigating the highs and lows of life? Why? Because I know that a lot of you get the seasonal blues this time of year when the days get cold and dark. (For you folks in Australia or Brazil; just set this aside and don’t listen for 6 months) I get these low points too. And the way I have learned to work my way out of them is to practice daily self-attention. I hesitate to call it self-affirmation, or self-love or even self-development. It’s hard to find words that don’t carry baggage of some sort. So let’s just say self-attention. This self-attention is important. When we find ourselves in these low or challenging spots in our lives we need to systematically focus on ourselves. It may very well be that one of the reasons we are in this low point is that we have neglected self-attention. We thought we were safely sailing calm waters and we forgot our practice. As I said in the first piece, these highs and lows come at us throughout our journey. We tend to enjoy the highs and suffer through the lows. If you have a good self-care practice you don’t have to suffer through those lows. You can see those lows as a gift and an opportunity to reassess, reset and replan. Even when everything in your world, our world, seems topsy turvy and out of balance, you are still you and the one thing you have control over is yourself. This is the gift of self-attention. The bonus of this self-attention is that it makes you better able to deal with the outside world. … Unfortunately, needing to do some self-work is commonly seen as weakness, especially in the western cultures. At least for my generation. I’m happy we seem to be evolving beyond that. Because this stigma on intelligent self-care is a lie. 80% of successful people start their days with some form of self-care. Those successful people see it for what it is, the daily sharpening of the saw. I think we can recognize that we have these cycles of emotion and energy throughout our lives that are natural. Feeling guilty or bad about these natural rhythms just compounds the problem. When I get into these troughs I have learned to get back to basics. To return to the basic truths of who I am and what my values are and what my purpose is. Then I work with that every morning as part of my routine. This allows me to show up with my best self for the people who need me. You are not doing yourself or anyone else any good by showing up incomplete with bad energy. Being in these low spots can be overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to let everything else go for a moment and commit some specific time on your own needs and go back to the basics. You build yourself up day by day and step by step. I have often heard people say “Life is a marathon, not a sprint” – To which I laugh because what the hell do they know about marathons? I know about marathons. We know about marathons. Remember that first marathon when you got to mile 18 and thought you were going to die? Hell. I bet more than half of the 70+ marathons I’ve run ended that way. The first time you hit that wall it’s awful, but eventually, with training and practice you learn how to deal with and overcome the wall. It’s still awful, but it is a familiar awful that you have the tools to manage. That’s how these cycles of highs and lows work. That’s why self-care is important because you can develop the tools to work your way through it. To summarize, carve out some quality time to focus on yourself and go back to basics. For me, the quality time for this kind of work is in the morning. And the basics start with daily meditation to quite my mind. The other important thing to understand about climbing out of a hole and the disciplines and practices to do so is that it takes time. When you sit down to meditate that first day your mind will be full of rabid weasels. You have to keep at it. The cause and effect of self-attention is subtle. You may not see it in the moment, but when you look back you’ll be able to connect the dots. You’ll see the positive impact of your practice. Like any other training, that self-attention requires ac consistency of effort. Don’t be discouraged. Give yourself the gift of a little bit of focus. … Anyhow, I’m going to keep coming at you with these little bits. And you can take them or leave them. Thanks for all the positive feedback on the Watership Down essay. Stay tuned for some running news in the outro. On with the show! … Outro So my friends, the big news is that I have started running again. I went to see the doctor and we reviewed the MRI results on the knee. The big reveal is that the bruise on the bone has, for the most part, healed. There is still some soft tissue degradation in there, but the big bad bruise is better. I have started running again. My run was .8 miles with Ollie around the neighborhood on Monday. Then I ran 2 miles in the trails with Ollie on Wednesday and Friday. I capped off week 1 with a 3.5 mile outing with my running club. How about that? How did it feel? Beautiful fall weather here – great for running. I was a bit sore after that first trail run! The knee still has pain in it episodically. But, at this point I’ll take what I can get. It’s definitely a mood lifter! The trick is going to be keeping myself in check. The universe was talking to me with this injury, and I have to listen. I’m going to be in a new age group one week from today and I need to find a way to run with joy that is sustainable.