Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Running Without A Planned Route

On Saturday it was almost a balmy 50˚ and sunny so the natural thing (for me) occurred: I put on my running shoes and headed out the door with Latin music jams in hand (for some reason I always run faster and further when listening to Spanish music). My typical route is several laps around Jamaica Pond being only a few blocks away, but today I was ready for a new adventure. and let my feet guide me. I should add when I know the route/mileage I don't run as far. I bypassed the pond and turned up Pond St. not knowing where I was heading. I almost felt like i had been transplanted back to the wonderful land of Decorah, IA, with woods, hills, and open, vast landscapes abound. I ended up passing a British School, an auto museum, a posh school called Park School, and a sign acknowledging I had left Jamaica Plain and entered Brookline. I didn't know where I was going, but there was still sunlight and I had my GPS navigation button in the case I got really turned around. I'll admit I clicked the navigation arrow a few times to verify I wasn't running into the abyss, but I ended up successfully making a loop and arrived tired and sore, but replete with endorphins and a joyous satisfaction.

I tell you this snippet of my life because aside from it being the highlight of my Saturday it is how I choose to live my life. Whenever I have a plan set in motion, one of two things happens. Most likely, the plan completely crumbles and a new trajectory presents itself without a pre-conceived plan and I run with it (no pun intended), or I try to stay on the planned path and don't "run as far" or rather mundanity enters and I begin to doubt why I'm doing this.

Today in class Greg had us ask ourselves some questions for self-marketing and one has really made me ponder: How okay are you with the unknown? I know I have thrived in the unknown, and it allows for so much growth. But without the GPS arrow at least as an option, it's a trepid trajectory to choose. It can result being fully satisfied with only sore legs as a repercussion.
But what if I did get lost, it became dark, and I didn't have a phone? I know i would've survived, but would I really have thrived? This is a question I ask myself as I begin to think about next year. Do I want the option of being safe, running around the pond, watching others run and having them help me become a better runner, resulting in developing skills from other runners and running a beautiful, established route? Or do I want to do my own thing, running out in the vast countryside, treading my own path, perhaps at times bushwhacking, risking getting turned around and/or lost, or possibly finding the new best route that I created?

The entrepreneur side in me of course chooses the latter. But weirdly, this is my default. Perhaps I should try the beautiful, but established path and see what happens...I can always create a new path another day once I've studied the contours of what makes the established path so popular and smooth. Innovation is always an option; when to opt for it is something with which I am truly grappling.

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