Tag Archives: surf city

I Have a Favorite Shirt

I have a favorite shirt.  There.  It is good to have that out in the open.  We hit it off right away, and then we started spending an inordinate amount of time together.  Now, it has blossomed into a beautiful relationship.

The relationship began in early February when I received the long-sleeved technical t-shirt for running the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach.  “I Ran This Beach!” is printed across the front, which is a little embarrassing due to the sophomoric Blake Shelton-ish double entendre.  But I love my shirt.

It is attractive, I guess, sort of a denim-y acid-washed color, but that isn’t why I like it so much.  I just really like the way it feels.  In an “I’m-embarrassed-my-wife-will-read-this” sort of way, I really like the way it feels.

Speaking of my wife, she probably hates it by now since I put it on every day when I get home from work and there is a decent chance that it doesn’t smell like a spring meadow, but that hasn’t slowed me down because changing into my favorite shirt signals an important transition from work to relaxation.  The person who had the bright idea of tying something in a knot around your neck and calling it business (busy-ness) attire was, well, pretty spot on.  Untying the knot that threatens to disconnect my brain from my heart and lungs and putting on my favorite shirt is an important part of my day.

Now that technology has successfully obliterated the work/relaxation line, I consider this daily costume change an act of defiance.  I will not be dominated by work.  I may work a lot, maybe more than I should, and maybe even at home, but it will be on my terms while wearing my favorite shirt.  And that feels good in more ways than one.

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Decide, Then Do

“Workouts are like brushing my teeth. I don’t think about them. I just do them. The decision has already been made.” – Patti Sue Plumer

I love resolutions and make them at any time of year, so yes, I have a new set for 2016. Three of them involve running:

#1: Set a half-marathon PR (under 1:37:10). I will go for it on Super Bowl Sunday alongside seventeen thousand new friends on a reportedly flat and spectacular course at Surf City in Huntington Beach.

#2: Enter the lottery for a chance to run the New York City Marathon. I have never entered a marathon, and if it is going to happen, it might as well be in the world’s largest marathon (fifty thousand runners!). (Running Resolution 2b: If I actually get in, complete the NYC Marathon without a corresponding hospital stay.)

#3: Run in Kenya with Kenyans. This is so incredibly awesome. My wife and I are part of a team headed to Kenya in June to work alongside a beautiful ministry that rescues children from the slums, and the chance to run with Kenyans in Kenya will be the highlight of the year. And if we are chased by a lion, then my ultimate fantasy of actually outrunning a Kenyan will also come true.

Resolutions are famously easy to make—and even keep for the first three days of the year give or take. Resolutions are famously difficult to keep past January, which is why this essay’s epigraph from Olympic distance runner, Patti Sue Plumer, is so curious in its simplicity. You simply decide and then just do? If it was only that easy . . .

What if it is that easy?

We give ourselves far too little credit. Listen closely: You (yes, you) and I (yes, me, too) possess the power to have true resolve. We really do. That resolutions are standing jokes is scandalous.

Marianne Williamson (often mis-attributed to Nelson Mandela, but I know it better from the movie, Coach Carter) famously wrote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Do not miscalculate your strength: You are stronger than you think. Do not be afraid of failure: Your battle is the fear, not the failure.

Decide.

Then, do. Simply because the decision has already been made.

End of discussion.