Recently, a friend and I agreed to sign-up to run in a race. I promptly began my training routine for the race with a goal in mind; to achieve a personal record. I have run half marathons in the past; however, this time it would be different. I would be beginning my training routine after having spent the last 12 weeks avoiding physical activity to allow my body time to recover from a broken jaw. With an abundance of restless energy and a goal in mind, I began my training routine with gusto!
Needless to say, I have shin splints as well as achy and strained muscles. And every time I put on my sneakers or see someone running on the street, I’m reminded of my least favorite personality trait: my impatience with myself.
As a little girl, I was always in a hurry. I spent most of my childhood waiting impatiently to hit the developmental stages; waiting to be old enough to enter middle school, waiting to be able to babysit, waiting to enter high school, to get my license, to go to college, to turn 21, to live independently… the list goes on. With sports, I wondered how anyone could play softball, particularly in an outfielder position. The game seemed to involve an agonizing amount of standing around waiting for the ball to come your way, if it ever did. I was always more drawn to tennis and running because of the constant movement.
In adulthood, a majority of the time, I find myself hyper-multitasking, which is easy to do with texting and the Internet. This winter, while recovering from a broken jaw, I found myself full of restless energy. I was used to spending my days multitasking, always thinking about what I need to do ‘next’. However, after the first several weeks of having to take life at a different pace, I discovered that, if I am not careful, I am going to end up mentally fast-forwarding right past the good things that are happening in the here and now.
As an adult, I face a struggle to embrace the present. These days whenever I start to feel ants in my pants, I try to channel my restless energy into realizing how lucky I am to be alive and surrounded by friends and family. I’ve come to believe that my impatience actually helps me appreciate the good stuff in life. I remind myself that everything of value takes time… just like healing a broken bone, training for a race, or achieving a personal record. I have heard it before, but it works -especially when I lose patience with myself for…..being impatient.