This morning I ran 11 miles at an 11 min/mile pace. That might not sound like very much to many people. To me, it felt great. It was a hot Texas morning and I sweated like crazy. It felt great.
Earlier, while I was doing my morning spiritual study, I thought about my life and the dilemma of retirement. Recently, my employer offered a small incentive to people who retired within a certain time frame. I was eligible. The deal caused me to really look at my desire to retire as well as my finances. I decided that it was just a little too soon for me to retire. But I also decided to do something about my life. That is to do something about intellectual stimulation in general but more specifically my declining intellectual stimulation at work, and the sapping of energy which goes along with it.
Some people retire because they want to do something meaningful with their lives. At some point the factors of money, age and desire for enlivening come together and the decision is made to leave. I am near enough to that tipping point that I need to prepare consciously and seriously.
So this morning, I made a list of enlivening things in my life. It turns out that running, fitness and racing are enlivening. That is why I do it. It is enlivening to be on the starting line of a race with a number pinned to your front. Just being there ready to finish the race. It doesn't matter how fast, just that you are. "Beingness" at its finest.
I thought about a 70 year old lady I met at a race once. She plans to do 7 ultra marathons this year. She got one done already. She walks them in races which have a generous time limit. I want to be able to walk 70 miles when I'm 70.
Last week, I did my first ultra marathon in a couple of years. There were 16 ladies in the 50 something age group who also did the ultra marathon. That is quite outstanding.
Enlivening just to think about.
I've signed up for a 50 mile event in October, including cashing in my frequent flyer miles to get there. Enlivening.
My morning spiritual study is very enlivening. Sometimes AA meetings are enlivening.
But work is usually not enlivening. I need to drop the rocks and let it be.
See you on the trails: