Thursday, February 9, 2012

THE RACE: 40 Lessons for On and Off the Race Course

The other day I turned 40.  The big 4-0 is significant, and it's made me ponder - What do I have left that I want to accomplish?  What can I take from the past 40 years and bring into the next 40?

Celebrating the big 4-0...Yes, all 3 wine glasses are mine...
Some people have asked me what the point of this blog is - is it a training journal?  Is it just fitness related? Is it about vegan stuff? Well, it's not about just one of those things.  It's about learning that life isn't about just one thing.  I'm a vegan, a triathlete, a runner, an Ironman, an attorney, a homeowner, a woman, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and a human being.  Something about each of those roles has shaped or impacted the others.  So this blog isn't pigeonholed into one topic area.  It's a hodge-podge because that's what life is - a hodge podge.   

With that in mind, have you ever sat and actually listed the lessons you've learned in life?  Learned from every aspect of your life?  And have you ever contemplated how what you've learned from one area of your life has impacted the other areas? You may be surprised if you did.  So I did, and here are the 40 lessons that I've learned in 40 years...I'll be curious to see what I can continue to add to the list.  These are lessons that I've learned from every facet of my life.  Lessons, you could say, that I've learned both on and off the race course:
  1. Do some type of physical activity, at least 5 days a week.  
  2. A bad workout is better than no workout.  
  3. Start small.  If you can't run a mile, then run a block.  If you can't lose 10 pounds, then lose 2. 
  4. Ride your bike.  It's a simple childhood pleasure that can make you feel young at any age.  
  5. Watch children run - you'll learn how we're really designed to run and remember how fun running should be.  
  6. If you're going to start running, have a professional evaluate what type of running shoe you need.  
  7. If you're going to start biking, get a professional bike fit.
  8. Don't rely exclusively on western medicine; open your mind to alternative medicines.
  9. Go to the doctor for regular checkups.  You are not invincible.
  10. Get massages, acupuncture/acupressure, active release therapy, or some kind of "hands-on" treatment to help your body heal and recover.  
  11. Listen to your body - it tells you more than your mind would lead you to believe.  
  12. Listen and be true to your instincts (and if you need help with this, read The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker). 
  13. Take care of those who can't take care of themselves, be they people or animals.  
  14. Have a companion animal. They will teach you a lot about what kind of person you are.  
  15. Look - really look - into an animal's eyes.  You will appreciate their soul.  
  16. Be a conscious consumer.  Research how your food is raised and grown, how your clothes are made, and whether your personal hygiene products are safe and cruelty-free.
  17. Buy organic when you can.
  18. Eat dessert.  
  19. Smile at strangers.  
  20. Buy a cup of coffee or pay a toll for the person behind you in line. 
  21. Find something greater than you in which to believe.  
  22. Don't judge others for what they believe.  
  23. Be aware that someone is always watching you, so you never know when you'll have a positive or negative impact on someone.
  24. Stay in touch or reconnect with old friends. 
  25. Never underestimate the power of the human touch and never be afraid to hug someone.   
  26. Don't think you're ever too old or too busy to make new friends.  
  27. When you're feeling low on motivation, find a favorite book that will pick you up.  
  28. Forgive...not for the other person, but for yourself. 
  29. Let go.  It doesn't mean forget - it means to refuse to be held prisoner by what has been. 
  30. Stand up, place your right hand over your heart, look at the flag, and do not speak during the National Anthem. 
  31. Say "thank you" to a veteran.   
  32. Do something because you want to, not because you have to. 
  33. Volunteer - you will realize how important you are to someone or something else.
  34. Go skydiving. You will never look at the world the same way.  
  35. Travel to another country.  
  36. Always, always fight for what you believe in - even if it means you may alienate some people.  
  37. It's easier to apologize for something you shouldn't have said, then never be able to say what you should have said. 
  38. Spend more time outside, in nature, looking up at the sky or at the world around you.  Put away your cell phone when you're walking the dog or walking down the street.  
  39. Never, ever question whether you should say "I love you."  
  40. Celebrate your birthdays...You never know if you'll get another one.  
What lessons have you learned that you'd like to share? 


Jen said...

I love this post!!! I've not really done this but now I might. One of my biggest life lessons would have to be to believe in myself. I'm stronger, smarter and more capable than I frequently give myself credit for. I find that to be true of most of the people I know, especially women.

Life Through Endurance said...

Jen - Right on!! I frequently don't give myself enough credit either and I think I probably could have listed 100 life lessons!! We women need to give ourselves more credit and engage in less self-defeating behaviors! Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...





Life Through Endurance said...

Thanks, Mom....All 3 are perfect!! Maybe you need to do a list too! Love you!