This afternoon I found out that the car I have owned for the last 2 years requires fixing due to oil leaking into the coolant tank. It will cost in the region of £300 to get fixed and to be honest my first thoughts were one of panic especially as Christmas is around the corner and I do not like spending this money on this type of thing as I have already replaced most of the engine and it's components over the past 12 months totalling a small fortune. Now I could question why does life throw these curve balls at me especially as my state of mind contrasted so differently from this morning.
At 7am this morning I was pumping my arms and legs in order to complete my quality 5 mile Hill reps session. Usually I make these sessions progressively tougher each time by either increasing the mileage or switching from going up hard and jogging down to going up jogging and running down hard. As I was breathing heavily towards the top of the hill and my rhythm breaking down I was focused on doing one thing, getting up to the top and taking in the view. I have done this countless times and as I start to jog back down the hill and my heart rate / breathing recovers I am still amazed how good I feel and how simple life seems in moments like this.
By nature I am an optimistic person and I don't tend to focus on problems, only on finding a solution to the problem. It was during my trip home from work this evening when I was thinking about how to solve this car problem that I had a moment of clarity that made me look assess other areas of my life and how they make me feel. I and others have heard it a million times the over used phrase "Less is more". This phrase has been used / misused by so many people but if you stop and think how can this apply to my life it actually makes you take stock of where you are in your life and what is important to you. Often in our incredibly busy and connected world we live in we don't spend enough time thinking and appreciating what is actually going right in our lives and focus on only what we don't have or want to have. Now I am not saying that I don't need a Car, House, TV etc however it got me thinking about all the other things I have and what is really necessary to live a life that I enjoy and appreciate each day.
For me like most people I want to be there for family and friends, this is the most important thing to me. The act of putting my shorts and t-shirt on and going running is now such a part of me that I cannot function without this act considering it always helps clear my mind and allow me to focus on one thing often resulting in a calming effect. I love travelling to new places and enjoying the job I do. I always try to find a balance with these things and often I am happy with the results.
Sometimes however the periphery things in life like my car today touch a nerve because it can interfere with the things I determine important in my life e.g. taking my children out for the day, travelling to places, travelling to races etc and due to today's events perhaps it's time to look at my belief system and really apply it to my daily life starting with the things I don't need and that could interfere with the things I hold dear. By removing them or minimizing the impact they have on the important things, the less there is to worry about and therefore less problems, hassle etc. Now I am not saying this is the magic bullet to living a more fulfilling life but at the end of the day if the things that make me happy are the only things required to live a happy life.
This of course influences my approach to running. Although when I think about it the only thing I would love to change in my running is being able to get in a car that doesn't go wrong and travel to great locations in a convenient fashion in order to pump those arms and legs and just take in the view.