Run Baby, Run
Last weekend, I participated in a 5K run as part of a yoga triathlon. I had two friends who wanted to attend event, and despite my reticence about running, my willingness to support anybody who wants to do yoga won out. We had an awesome time at the run, and it was a huge accomplishment for my two friends, neither of whom had completed a 5K before. Hooray!
I finished the race on a high note. Stepped out of my comfort zone! Don’t feel like I want to die! Ran the entire way, even up the big hills! I find it much more interesting and fun to run in a race with other people, even though I’m sort of ignoring them, than to run by myself. I met up with my friends, we celebrated, and then moved on to the free snacks and goodies at the festival’s marketplace.
Two days later, I am at the first session of our Mastermind coaching group, a continuation of my coaching last spring. Our fearless leader introduces the concept of meaningless goals. Meaningless goals are ones which make you feel productive, but do not actually align with moving you forward in big ways in your life toward what you really want. Have I mentioned that I love meaningless goals? I heart them with ALL of the emojis.
However, it’s come to light (and as no surprise to anyone except me) that what I need most is to have fewer goals. To do less. To exist more. To practice the art of doing nothing instead of the art of every other thing. Begone, meaningless goals! No problem, I think. I am secretly twisting this into a goal inside my head. I set it, now I just have to do it- it being less goal setting…errrrr.
I’m trying anyway.
The next day, I get an email from a yoga studio, inviting any student or teacher to an upcoming 5K run. It’s for a great cause, and it’s a few hour commitment on a Saturday morning.
I immediately hit reply: Yes! Me! I’d be happy to do the run. Because it’s suddenly crossed my mind that although I near to loathe running and I actually don’t want to become a runner because arthritis runs in my family and it freaks me out, I could do a bunch of 5Ks! And this would be great! Because…because I’d be doing the 5Ks! Good causes! Running! Health!
Meaningless goals, anyone? 5Ks are awesome. So are running, and health, and good causes. But what I don’t need right now is to spend 4 hours on a race that will take 40 minutes. I don’t need to wake up at 7am on a Saturday. And I surely don’t need one more meaningless goal, because my knitting and my ukulele have that sh*t on lockdown.
I already have goals in spades, and they are based on my own personal causes. At the heart of it, I believe that my causes will do just as much to help the world as me running another race. But only if I focus on accomplishing them. Even so, I felt so guilty deleting that email, I can’t even tell you. So it’s clear this is not going to be an easy process for me, this paring down, saying yes to less.
Saturday morning, I will probably be up early, making breakfast. I’ll be cleaning my apartment and watching some online training videos (for yet another program I’m in…), and maybe I’ll even cook a real meal. I’ll lift my heart up at the start of the race to the runners, and then I will breathe and believe that I deserve this quiet moment.
Photos courtesy of Erica and Mary. Follow them on Instagram @wilpon and @maspad