Running alone. It’s not my favorite activity. Running with friends is always better! As I set out this morning, on my solo Sunday morning run, I was deep in thought about the numerous roles I play in my world, professionally and personally. I’ll never know where these philosophical thoughts come from.
Have you ever stopped to think how many distinctly different roles you play in your life? If you haven’t done this lately, be forewarned, it’s daunting! This led to pondering which roles are rewarding, taxing, demanding, challenging, formidable, and require the most patience. Do the numerous hats I wear take turns in terms of the rewards, time, strength (mental and physical), and perseverance required? Or are some just rewarding while others are just tough?
As I begin my sixth year as a marathon coach, this role was competing for first place in my morning thoughts. One of the most rewarding hats I wear is guiding (merely assisting) people to cross a marathon finish line! In the six months I spend with these dedicated individuals, I witness so much growth, and I see strength emerge they never knew they had! It’s never me. I can’t run those miles for anybody. I can’t dig deep into my heart for strength or run on rubber-band legs for anybody. They do it, it’s ALL them!
Jen was part of our group last year, and not only did she accomplish a marathon through her own strength, she became a dear friend.
And, some more people who I am privileged enough to call my friends.
Some of my greatest rewards come from my role as coach turned friend.
On my morning solo run, as is quite common, I ended up running with a friend out on the path. We were poring over the rewards we enjoy from helping people cross a finish line. Running conversations can take dramatic turns and can be all over the place. We soon discussed traveling across our country and to other continents too.
I was talking about my new joy of traveling and of the many destinations I hope to visit. My friend went onto say that helping others may perhaps be the most rewarding event in his life. For him, this beats any sunset over any sea in the world, any historical monument or vacation destination. For a moment, I pondered this comment. For another moment, I felt so completely guilty for thinking of my own desires and for putting myself first.
Then I remembered. I’m one of the first people to tell others about the importance of taking care of yourself, your needs, and desires first. In this way, you are better able to be there for the others in your life and be at the top of your game for the many, many hats you wear! So many people depend on you-personally and professionally.
Your life needs balance. Your soul needs to sing. Your mind needs rest. When you take care of YOU, then you are better able to nurture those who rely on you and depend on your strength! You can coach others to their “finish line.”
No guilt for taking care of you!! Take care of you. You’ll be better for those who need you.