Act, now

Amazing how good it can feel to actually act on your ideas, rather than simply cogitate on them. Three examples from last week, including the issue, the action, the reaction.

1. Have a goal. I know, I talk about the importance of having goals, about how they’re essential to keep you motivated. And yet … . Beginning last October, my goal was the Umstead Marathon, which was on March 2. I ran (mostly) the marathon, then, according to plan, took some time off. Of course, the plan was to take maybe a week or two before setting a new goal, signing up for a race and training anew. The goal was not to take a couple months, which is about what happened. Oh, I was running — every now and then. I needed a goal — I needed another trail race.

Action: I signed up for Race #3 in the River Bound Race Series in Charlotte, on the trail network at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Specifically, I’ll be doing the 15K. The race is July 20; I have 2 1/2 months to train.

Re-action: I ran 21 miles last week — about as many miles as I’ve run since March 2 — including a 10-mile trail run at Umstead.

2. Commute by bike. I’ve contemplated the bike commute for a while now; on Friday, it was time. My daughter wanted to use the car for a day-long school project. I tossed her the keys,

Action: Granted, I work mostly from home, but I also work a fair amount of the time from a collection of local coffee shops. I briefly scouted a map for secondary roads and greenways to one of my faves, gave the bike a quick tune, took 10 minutes to get my commuter gear together.

Re-action: Though it was only 5.6 miles to the coffee shop, I ended up logging more than 18 for the day, incorporating several errands into the mix. 18.6 miles, 1 hour 18 minutes on the bike, an average of 13.2 mph. Pretty good day on the bike.

3. Serenity now! Early in the week, I was stressed; lots of deadlines, lots of obstacles. I tend to withdraw when I get stressed, get glassy-eyed, pick at my fingernails, make odd clucking noises, scare the kids. Marcy is adept at spotting the early warning signs, and this time was no exception. She tried to get me to do deep breathing exercises; for whatever reason, I resisted. “You need Yoga,” she suggested.

Action: The next morning I woke up tight as Jimmy Conners’ tennis racket with an accompanying stress headache. Desperate, I tried the deep breathing exercises — and within minutes my neck and shoulders had downgraded from a T2000 to a plush Prince oversized  as forgiving as Mother Teresa (someone, please — call the metaphor police!)

Re-action: I signed up for a yoga class Thursday nights at Lake Johnson.

Act, people. Now.

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