What are you running from?

Let me set the scene:

400 million years ago, when the first animal popped its head out of the water to breathe sweet oxygen, it did it not by choice. It wasn’t like this organism wanted to finally dry off and build a condo. It was forced out. The oceans, rivers and lakes had receded so much that this animal had to do or die. It was not running TOWARD a comfy dirt bed, but rather running FROM sure extinction.

So, fast-forward to January 2011.

I’m getting into shape. It’s been a process that has varied from hyped-up diligence to screw-this-crap-sleeping-in. Equally as varied has my emotional connection been to improving my health. Fortunately, I’ve been able to do more of the latter which has resulted in much improved numbers on my doctor’s laptop. Good.

But lately, I’ve been asking myself, “Am I running FROM something, or TO something?” It’s not especially important that I answer this philosophical dilemma anytime soon, but it seems insightful and helpful to understand. Sure, at first, there was mounting evidence of my eventual demise that began to creep onto my chart – high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. On the other hand, I’ve always wanted to experience a triathlon, have giant pectoral muscles and the ubiquitous six-pack.

I imagine it was a little from column “A” and a little from column “B.” And since fear seems to be a greater motivator (taught to us first by those Devonian Period species) I would surmise most of my being was running from death.

But as my fitness evolves, I find myself running TO achievement.

I want to improve my triathlon time over last year. I want to feel even better than I do now. I want more of the benefits my better health has rewarded me with. I would imagine, not unlike early tetrapods, that I am no longer running from shrinking oceans, but running to bigger caves, better hunting grounds and 5K Beer Runs. Although at times I still question that motivation.

What are you running from? And what are you running to?

Answering these two questions might make your path easier to walk down, or I should say, run down. It’s connecting the past and the future. More importantly, it’s fully understanding the “NOW.”