Sometimes doing less is doing more

12 Aug

Jeremy’s mom should take a day or two off from training.

It’s rather ironic that my first post is about, well, doing nothing. At least it feels like I’m doing nothing. But this is actually an active nothing.

For three years, I have been hampered by a hamstring injury. But with a lot of rest and various treatments, I was finally able to run another marathon in March.

It’s taken a while for it to sink in, but at age 49, I have finally realized I cannot just push through an injury. Now I realize that I have to adjust my training plan based on how I feel. And that adjustment may include unplanned days off.

So when my hamstring got sore this week and remained sore for most of the week, I realized it may be best to take a couple of days off. I skipped my Saturday easy day and my Sunday long run.

It certainly wasn’t easy to give up those two days. Patience has never been my strong suit, as my loved ones will attest. However, experience and just plain age will bolster your patience.

With the perspective of additional years, I wonder today how I would have handled family and career challenges faced by the younger me. As the saying goes, youth is wasted on the young.

I can’t go back and change the past. I have spent 31 years in the newspaper business, 27 of them in a full-time job. The career choices I have made have shaped my life and the lives of those who are on this journey with me. There are details I would change, but the overall direction has been a good one.

The kids are grown — or nearly so — and so that phase of parenting is past. Again, I can think of details I would change. Sharp words I wish I could take back. But that, too, has been a good ride.

Here’s hoping that my patience in training pays off in the long run. While training for New Orleans in March, I had to take a few unplanned days off, too. And that seemed to work out well.

But more importantly, I hope that the patience borne from experience pays off in the rest of my life. Running is a good distraction, a place to channel competitive energies and a physical release. But family and friends are the things that really matter.


2 Responses to “Sometimes doing less is doing more”

  1. Jay Zetterlund August 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    The insight we gather as our hair grays…or leaves all together is powerful. Thanks for sharing your words on this journey we call life. So often, the most important moments happen when “nothing” else is going on! Looking forward to future posts, Mark.


    • msmidt August 15, 2012 at 2:40 am #

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Jay! I’m honored you took the time to read the post and then comment.


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