One Good Thing

Yesterday I wrote about a lesson I learned in Jen Sincero’s book You Are a Badass. Today, as I ran I continued listening to this book and spent a good portion of the run shaking my head. The truth is I hate self-help books. I find them to be patronizing. I think they often aim for the lowest common denominator and I believe that most of the advice in these books is simple common sense. But, as I ran, still shaking my head, I realized I have gotten something from this book. I learned to remember even in the worst situations there is always something good. Does that mean all the time spent listening to this book is time well spent? Well, yes, yes it does.

This is a lesson I learned long ago. Whether it is a failed relationship, a book you did not enjoy or a run that did not go to plan, there is always at least one good thing to be taken from the experience. Maybe in that failed relationship you found your all time favorite restaurant or were introduced to a new set of friends or discovered that you really are too good to be wasting your time on a loser like that guy. In that book that you hated maybe you didn’t come away having learned a big life lesson but maybe you learned something about a time in history you hadn’t known about before. Maybe you are now able to rule out an entire genre of books for future visits to the library. Or maybe you discovered one new word you had never used before but know you will be adding to your vocabulary from now on.

And on that run?

Well that is what this is all about, isn’t it. Today I have a thousand items on my to do list. I did not have the time to get a run in but I also know that I don’t have the time in the calendar to skip runs leading up to my two fall marathons. So…I went out and got it in. It was hot and humid. It was miserable and I spent a good portion of the time bitching in my head about the book I was listening to and dreading all of the chores that would follow the run. But, I got it in. I covered the miles and better yet, I completed ten hill repeats. I have not done hill repeats in years. I had forgotten how hard they were but I had also forgotten how much fun they were and how even with the first one I am always aware of how strong they will make me. Today I took away a sense of purpose. I did not love my run but I love having completed it.

Although my rule is that there should always be one good thing. I have found that looking for that one thing almost always leads to others. So, Jen Sincero and her life lessons might make me crazy for a good portion of the book, but she also hits the nail on the head several times throughout the book. I might dread my run but once I have done it I walk away knowing I have completed yet another step on the way to the marathon. I have begun to get stronger through my training. I learned that I can do something even when I am dreading it.

Life is not always fun. Running is not always fun. But, if we can take one good thing from the experience, isn’t it worth continuing down this path?