My wife and I are runners. There was a time in my life when I would not have described myself as a runner. All of that changed about 10 years ago when my wife told me I should run my first marathon. Until that point I just ran as a part of “working out”. Not anymore.
This morning we had a long run as a part of our training for this coming running season. The weather this morning was especially warm and humid for mid-September. To be honest, it felt more like early August outside. The humidity was so thick that it felt like we were in a bowl of soup. Not that I have ever been in a bowl of soup, but If I were, I would imagine that it would feel like it did this morning. It was not comfortable running weather at all.
After we finished running, Amanda made a statement that was quite profound. She said that being a runner has made her comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Think about that for a minute.
Are you still thinking? I will wait.
When you think about it, this totally makes sense. You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable in life. That is just the way it is sometimes. Change happens. Your job has an unexpected change, your boss asks you to do something you think you cannot handle, you have to work through unexpected life events. It happens to us all. The people that do the best in these situations are able to be comfortable while being uncomfortable.
Allow me to make some connections to how running has helped me to be comfortable while being uncomfortable.
When you are running for more than an hour at a time your body begins to experience different feelings. Sometimes it is pain, sometimes it is numbness, sometimes it is euphoria, and let’s face it runners, sometimes it is pure delusion!! The point is, it can be and often is uncomfortable. As a runner you come to expect that and you know that it will not last. You learn to work through it and even use it to push you further. You use being uncomfortable to make you better.
Being a runner has made her comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Amanda and I both agreed that because we were so accustomed to running through discomfort we have been able to take that approach in our work, and even our lives. We know that we can work through whatever issue is brought our way. Sometimes the discomfort makes us work even harder and after struggling through the discomfort we are better for it.
We have never finished a run and said, “man, I wish we had not done that.” But we have said, “we should have gone for a run today.” Sometimes you just need that discomfort in your life.
As my friend Mark McCord says, “Lean into that discomfort.” Use it, don't run from it! Make it work for you to help you become better.
Think. Achieve. Succeed.
Director of Instruction and Leadership Development
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are
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