I Am My Fiercest Rival and My Own Worst Enemy

I went for my first run in almost a month yesterday and it tore me to bits.

The sad part is I’m not particularly out of shape. In fact, I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard in recent times. and I’m at or very near the peak performance of my life, though I’ve been slouching in the cardio department.

I took the scenic route for my run as it usually tends to kill two birds with one stone; I get my adrenaline fix and simultaneously experience unparalleled peace of mind. It’s exhilarating running along the cliff edges while bursting through the salt-filled ocean spray kicked up by the waves crashing below.

True to tradition, I was timing my run with the Nike+ Run Club app on my phone. Even though I knew I’d be taking it pretty easy, I can’t help but measure my effort against a known mark as a determinant of success or failure. About halfway into the first leg, I was falling flat. I was way off pace, way off what I thought I should feel on an “easy-going run” by my standards.

I have the utmost difficulty seeing only one side of any experience in my life. This scenario was no different.

My modus operandi is to compete with myself; to improve a little more each day; to grow a little more each day; and by design, not succumb to the plethora of issues that arise from constantly comparing oneself to others.

As in many aspects of life, it’s really not that simple. I had one of my all too familiar lightbulb moments; I realized how I have allowed myself to be absorbed into my own bubble. I created a facade of progress where there was some but not as much as I perceived—a Reality Distortion Field (RDF) if you will. This wasn’t about running anymore. This was about self-actualization.

There is an inherent danger in veering aggressively from one lane to another; the risk of overshooting the balanced path. In my bubble, I buried myself in work (still do), let friendships wane and abandoned relationships. Eventually, those decisions (and their consequences) catch up. Even Usain Bolt can’t outrun fate.

This, more than anything, is why I enjoy the outdoors. Gyms are great and all, but outdoor activities are boundlessly restorative in mind, body and soul. No matter where I go, It’s always great to come back to the place that is not only my physical home, but my spiritual home as well.

As I mentioned in my related Instagram post, many great things are coming before the end of 2016 and into 2017. I’m strapped in for the ride. I’m ready for all the challenges and all the adventures that await.