You know that run. This was a good one. My pacing was on point, my effort was easy, and I felt like I could go forever. That's how this run felt. For the first time since my diagnosis with RA, I felt like myself again. I'm sure the relatively warmer temperatures (40F) helped too.
As I neared the final half mile of my planned 10k run, I was lost in thought. Almost done, I was contemplating the day ahead.
Suddenly, my legs started to fly out from under me. Ice!
With the warmer temperatures and the overnight rains, the roads were wet. There were a lot of puddles, but I hadn't seen any ice.
Until now. I was running downhill and in that brief moment, my feet were moving faster than the rest of me.
It happened so fast. There wasn't time to panic. Instead of fighting the slide, I let it happen. I prayed. I shuffled my feet. I pumped my arms. The icy patch felt like a marathon.
Miraculously, I stayed upright. When I got to the bottom of the hill and the end of that ice, when I realized I was safe and on pavement, I slowed my pace to let my heart calm down.
Later as I reflected back on that incident, I thought about how I felt when I realized I what was happening, as well as the possibility of what could happen. The completely unexpected event of hitting black ice. The fear of falling. The possibility of injury. The effort to stay upright. The relief I felt when that moment was over.
Runners talk a lot about pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. We remind ourselves that nothing good ever happens in the comfort zone. In a sense, that's true. It's easy to get complacent, to run the same route all the time, the same pace, the same races. You never get anywhere new in your comfort zone, but everyone needs those comfort zones from time to time.
Here I was, running my well-worn route through my neighborhood. My comfort zone. The route that I know so well, I don't even have to think. I just go.
Instead of making the decision to step outside of the comfort zone, what if the comfort zone pushes us out, like on my run yesterday? How about when life pushes us out of our comfort zone? How do you handle the icy patches that life throws in your way?
Just like I had to do when I hit the ice on my run, we have to figure a way to stay upright.
It's not easy, and it's not always pretty. There's always the chance that I might have fallen and injured myself. Life is like that too. Not everything goes as planned.
Life has thrown a few icy patches my way lately. I haven't done as well as I could have with staying upright. I may even have fallen a few times.
Yesterday's slippery incident gave me a lot of food for thought. How good am I at staying upright when life pushes me out of my comfort zone? Reflecting back, I did a remarkable job on my run. How did I not fall? How can I bring that same finesse to my life off the road?
Running gives us so many lessons. Yesterday's run was a gift, an opportunity for me to think and learn about staying the course. I felt really lucky that I didn't fall and hurt myself.
Once again, I felt really grateful for the gift of running.
What gifts has running given you lately? How good are you at staying upright when life pushes you out of your comfort zone? Do you have any good metaphors to share?
I'm linking up with Coaches Corner--Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel! And Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.