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On Finding Purpose & Intent

Greg and I ran the Bucktown 5k this morning, getting up earlier than usual, and dropping Veronica off at Sandy & Sarah's for the morning. (As payback they made us pancakes when we got back. Rude, right??)

Greg made Veronica try on his running vest before we left. You know, for a Twitter photo op good luck.

   
5k
I ran this race for the first time last year, and just like last year I felt strangely emotional about it. Something about being part of that swelling crowd of runners, and so many different kinds of people living so many different lives, just gets me. Greg and I ran alongside each other, our feet rhythmic on the faded asphalt below. Other couples ran alongside us here and there — you could tell they were couples from their proximity, by the way they nodded at each other here and there. Friends ran in groups, cheering each other on, all of us out there in the cold morning air, with the autumn leaves twisting above us under the silvery sky.

The legless runners made my throat close up, tears springing in my eyes, as did the first few women who streaked past on their way back to the finish line, miles and minutes ahead of us. I ran past a guy who was marking off the weight he'd lost on the back of his shirt. 10 lbs, 20 lbs, 30 lbs, 40 lbs –  all of them crossed off — 50, 60, and 70 still yet to go. I couldn't help it: I smacked his arm as I went past, my heart swelling with happiness and pride for him. Good job, I mouthed, and he smiled widely, nodding in return.

Greg and I ran the whole thing together, unlike last year when I was on my own, with V and Greg on the sidelines, and it was a nice thing to do, just the two of us. As I ran I thought a lot about my Good Enough Project. I've been thinking about it all weekend, in fact. I'm excited about it, and I am crafting my beginning plans already. Running this morning felt like the perfect way to kick start it all. 

One of the things I've been thinking the most about my good enough problem, is that because I haven't been able to keep up with my life lately it's started to feel like I've just been letting life happen to me. Every week I find myself bracing for what is coming, like a swimmer taking a wave. I've become a lot less thoughtful and tactical about my approach to life. I've been on the defense, rather than playing offense. Oh god, did I just use a sports analogy?

My point is that I feel like one thing I really need to do in order to exact change right now is to be more proactive about my life and my plans. Running this morning, pushing myself and opening myself up, felt symbolic of that. Crossing the finish line with purposeful intent held a kind of meaning that I hope to carry over into the days ahead of me.

4 Comments

  1. I think intent is a really powerful thing. For a long time I kind of went about my life blindly, but when I started setting goals it really made a difference! I think you’re bound to see a change. Good luck!

    Comment by Stephanie on October 3, 2010 at 8:33 pm

  2. Love that photo of V!

    Comment by Erica on October 4, 2010 at 7:22 am

  3. Thanks! :)

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on October 4, 2010 at 12:17 pm

  4. Exactly — it’s that feeling of blindness. I’m really ready to see things more clearly.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on October 4, 2010 at 8:07 pm

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