The dead still have plenty to teach us.
I had a plan. It was going to be a good 10 mile mid-week run and I was going to brainstorm for the podcast. I had a topic and I was gonna flesh it out. Then I ran through a graveyard. I don’t know what possessed me to do so… but I did. I’m glad, too. I learned a few powerful things that might not otherwise have occurred to me…
Sometimes stuff just kinda smacks you in the face.
I really was trying to flesh out a podcast idea while I was on that 10 mile run Wednesday… and sure, I was kinda figuring stuff out… but I’ve learned, and I’m reminded… time and time again… my brain seems to work best when I just let it kind of wander. I can’t always
force intentionally write about a specific topic. That’s one of the things I love so much about running – that’s where those ideas come flowing out… just have to manage to capture them and get them into text or on a mic…
which would be why I’m glad I ran through that graveyard.
When I turned and started running through I kind of just figured I’d run the perimeter, get as much distance out of it as I could, and hit it again on my way back. As I was running, though… some things began to occur to me. And the more it all ran through my head, the more important it seemed… and the deeper I went into thought. So what did I pick up in that graveyard? A few simple, but powerful, life lessons…
1. Family, Friends, and Community are what matter.
I couldn’t tell a whole lot about the people laid to rest in that graveyard. Hopefully you wouldn’t know… but headstones are expensive. The more they say on them, the more expensive they are. Needless to say… only the most important information makes it there. Know what I saw on them? Words like mother, father, sister, brother. I saw military service. Fraternal and civic organizations. I saw the relationships these people built and the impact they made on those close to them.
Know what I didn’t see?
I didn’t see the terrible or amazing gym clothing choices they made. Nor did I see what people at the gym did or didn’t think of them. Not how they DNF’d a race. I saw the things that mattered. It made me realize something that should be obvious: “it” doesn’t matter. Whatever “it” is that’s holding you back… in the end… is it really going to matter?
2. There is love… or there is nothing
In a graveyard… there’s not much of anything except stone, dirt, and silence. Not a whole lot of decoration or excitement in there. There is a bit of color that sticks out, though. Occasionally, family, friends, loved ones… those people from the first lesson… they’ll show up and leave something at the grave. Maybe flowers… maybe a photo… I even saw some colorful pinwheels planted in the dirt. Sometimes someone will even leave some other sentimental thing.
What do those all have in common?
They’re all a means of expressing their love and care for the departed. You either go to a graveyard to bring love… or nothing. People aren’t exactly lining up to head to a graveyard to spew hate, judgement, and negativity. Why can’t we live LIFE that way? How is it that when it’s all over… all of a sudden it’s only love (or nothing at all)? It’s like your parents (hopefully) taught you… if you don’t have anything nice to say…
3. Live Life NOW.
Something really sad, unfortunate, and frankly a little sobering hit me as I cruised through that graveyard… Some of the “born” and “departed” dates on those headstones were pretty damned close together. Some recent, and some a while ago… but people… life is short. There’s just no time for the bad. Every day in this life is a gift, and each moment you spend spreading negativity is a moment irrevocably wasted. I’m certainly not trying to be an alarmist by this… but you or I or the guy next door could be gone tomorrow.
One of the greatest lessons the dead can teach us… is it is IMPERATIVE that we live our life NOW. If there’s something you want to do… to accomplish… If you want to get into the gym and improve your quality of life… if you want to have a kid… if you want to run a marathon… what are you waiting for?
So… yeah… though I still don’t know why I did it… I’m glad I took that right turn into the graveyard. Maybe you should take a run and see what you come up with.
What’s in this episode:
- The FitWife and I FINALLY have a date day!
- Running is finally in full swing
- My undiagnosed injury (?)… is healing itself!
- What I learned on an impulsive run through a graveyard
Interested in working with Darrell?
If you don’t live in Attleboro, or don’t have an Anytime Fitness near you… consider working with Darrell anyway! Darrell is accepting Virtual Training Clients – it’s about as close as you can get to working with him one-on-one in person without actually BEING in person. If you’re ready to make a change and have it stick, e-mail Darrell@SoTHISIsFitness.com for more details.
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