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Compassion Project June 2019

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Davis-ChrisWe are almost halfway through the year and like many of you, I made some resolutions in January. However, this year – I approached things differently. I decided I was going to live my life differently. My resolution? To start DOING – the “bucket list year” or a mini version anyway – to kick off my new mind-set. You see, I turned 45-years-old in January. I am a half-lifer (I hope) and that hit me right where it hurts. I need to start living life by my terms, the way I want to live it. I need to start doing the things on my “someday” list.

So . . . I signed up to run Race to Robie Creek, a famous half-marathon in the Boise area and the rest of Idaho. Something that has been on my “someday” list for more than two decades. I am really NOT SURE why I have not done it. If I had to take a guess, it was because I felt scared of potential embarrassment.

And I did it. Now, I did not train enough, or do enough of the right training, but I did it. And I met some pretty neat people walking a few miles on the crazy uphill to the summit of Aldape Peak. During the climb, the tongue of my shoe actually melted to my sock from the heat and running friction! On the very steep and windy back half of the mountain, I did my fastest mile down which was both fun and full of adrenaline. Most importantly, I finished the race. I turned my “someday” wish into a “today” reality.

I am still training and plan to do another half-marathon in July. Why? So I can beat my three hours and 22 minutes Robie Creek time. I want to finish a half-marathon that is all flat and smooth on the Boise Greenbelt in less than three hours. I do walk/run intervals, and I run – V E R Y slowly, at my own pace, and I don’t make excuses to anyone about it. I finished Robie and I plan to do it again next year, aiming for that under three hour mark.

Now, I don’t always do the training like I should. I eat too many cookies; I skip too many days. But, I get back on the plan, because instead of focusing on what I have NOT done – each day I am focusing on what is still ahead of me – the next 45 years and things I can STILL do.

Things on my list for this year?

  • Race to Robie Creek: Checked off. I did not die, puke or pass out and I finished on my own two feet!
  • Publish a book: Checked off. It was kind of for work, but it still counts, right? Check it out here.
  • Climb Mt. Borah: Planned for August.
  • Do three more runs (I love the Couch to 5K/Couch to 10K/Couch to 13.1 training apps).
  • Go camping.
  • Go backpacking.
  • Meditate. The Daily Calm app is amazing, the website is fantastic as well. You can pay for the full version or just coast along with the free app. I have the full app, but I still only manage to do this a few times a week . . . life is a work in progress.
  • Read more – one mind-expanding non-fiction fiction a quarter. My latest read was No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder.
  • Be more organized. I make the bed every morning.

My point to all this is, you really can do anything. You just have to start something. Look at the positive rather than the negative. You want to be more organized? Start by making your bed each morning. You want to do a 5K? Start by walking for 20 minutes after dinner each night. If you get off track, don’t give up – just get back on.

I am slow, middle-aged and a little forgetful. I live in a state of “organized chaos” but I am learning to embrace life and love the life I have. It may be clique, but I am well on my way to living my best life. Learning how to have compassion for yourself is by far one of the most difficult obstacles one has to overcome, I believe. At least it has been for me. But, it has opened up my life for joy and the possibility to realize fulfillment.

The Compassion Project: Let us be the ones who transform our world by allowing compassion to lead our action. Throughout the year, this column will feature the various ways to have compassion for others, for our specific organization, and for yourself.

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