Our run this morning was warm but one of the most brutal in quite some time. It’s been quite a while since I’d last run on very icy roads. My feet would find solid purchase for a dozen steps or so only to then almost shoot right out from under me on the next steps. I’d move a little ways to the left and then a little to the right with no luck, everywhere I put my feet there seemed to be ice.
There wasn’t anything I could do to change the ice so I chose to roll with it. I shifted my posture to keep my center of gravity perfectly over my feet. My strides where greatly condensed as I went with shorter steps in order to keep myself from getting to out of balance. Due to the combination of clean blacktop, packed snow, ice, and potholes each step was an adventure and very rarely did more than three straight steps feel the same.
This was an opportunity for me to push the edge. I would rather not run on conditions like this, but what an opportunity to push my boundaries a bit. By running on this edge I was able to work on my balance, my focus, adjusting my steps, my breathing, and strengthening the little stabilizing muscles in my legs and feet. Before I knew it I was actually enjoying this run on the edge. For sure, it still hurt, but there was something fun in pushing the boundaries of what I feel comfortable doing.
When considering the past few weeks, possibly months, in much of life I’m seeing where I’ve pushed the edges. I’ve moved right to the boundary of comfort and ridden the line between there and discomfort. On that edge I’ve found growth. There’s more room to push that edge further and further out. The stretching doesn’t always feel good, it often starts off as the opposite, but the end result is positive. Not only that, but I’m finding that if I keep asking myself the right questions and choosing the right mindset I actually enjoy pushing the edge. Despite the discomfort I know I’m moving forward. Kind of like increasing the weights while lifting, it’s a good discomfort. If I do it right I have the opportunity to enjoy both the destination (joy) and the journey (suffering).
This might be one of those nights when I start to explore and idea to come back to a little later. I feel like there’s a lot more to pull apart and extract to this concept, but I want to let this ferment further. May this blog be a future thought seed.