Little by Little


“You look tense. Try dropping your shoulders.”

I was taking a break from the double stroller to show Kim my latest running form. We don’t jog together often, but when we do it’s usually illuminating. I relaxed my arms and my body began to loosen.

“Man, I wonder how much energy I’ve been wasting keeping them up like that? Thanks for the feedback.”

Back in college, when I started running purely for the economy of it, I’d have been surprised if you told me that one day I’d be working on my form, doing speed work, running negative splits, and enjoying it along the way. Yet here I am, ten years later, and running has become integral in my life. I like reading about it, practicing it, improving it, working up a sweat.

In many ways it’s mirrored my own personal development. Over time I’ve learned to listen to my body, know my limits, improve my technique, mind my diet, find the right gear, be consistent, etc.

Unfortunately, most of these lessons were acquired the hard way: too much, too soon, yet another injury. I’ve had so many dumb injuries. There’s an arrogance in assuming you can do anything well without knowledge, practice and time.

“Why don’t you finish without me. I think I’m done.”

We had a mile left until home, but we had just passed five and my normal is three.

While walking back I reflected on how far I’ve come. The younger me would have pushed through, felt heroic, and regretted it later. The older me has learned to fight another day.

And honestly, I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m proud of it. Because it’s evidence that little by little I’m wising up.

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