One Pipe At A Time, Little Goals.

At the beginning of summer I taught an Enrichment class for a week. This class was offered to kids grades 3rd to 8th about how to safely and effectively run. I coach cross country and run myself so I thought it would be a fun way to help my program and learn more myself not to mention make a little extra money.  It did not disappoint.

Each day I showed short motivational videos, had a nutrition lesson, learned about a historical runner, had some technique lessons and, of course, we ran. I learned a lot. The teacher is always a student first. I have always been a stubborn student; only learning what I wanted to learn or enjoyed learning. As a teacher, you don’t realize you are learning so it kind of sneaks into your brain.

I showed the kids a video titled, “8 Simple Hacks Every Runner Should Know”. There was one hack that was familiar to me but I had forgotten. It was used on me by a friend that got me into running about six years ago. When your run gets difficult and your brain wants you to stop pick something to focus on ahead of you, like a mailbox or a post. Tell yourself to run to that point. When you get there don’t stop, just pick a new point. If you must stop keep moving forward and pick a new spot where you will begin running again. This fools your brain by distracting it from the big overwhelming task and breaking it into small, more easy to digest portions.

Hummm, now there’s a life lesson not just a running lesson. It could be applied to big battles like fighting cancer, loosing weight, long term injury or recovery, or loosing a loved one. I am going to apply this concept to a much smaller battle…a skirmish if you will.

If you have been following my journey from the beginning of this year then you will remember my goal of six art pieces to be completed by the end of October just in time to apply for a fellowship. I have completed one. that I will have framed next week. How am I going to meet my goal? Well, I am going to make little goals. The Virginia Highlands Festival is the end of this month. I will enter my Pipes drawing. I need to find other competitions along my journey to the “fellowship”. Can I do five more by then? The task is daunting since I have 35 + hours on the Pipes drawing alone. I may have to scale down some of the ones I have planned in the series. I have to try. I can’t focus on the overall. Just like the running video said. Set long term goals but focus on short term segments.

When your issues become overwhelming, break them down. If you have to stop running don’t stop completely. Just keep moving forward. As Dory would say, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”.

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