On Running and Acting, an analogy for life

My work schedule changed today so that I start working evenings, which leaves my mornings free.  I have been wanting to get into a good routine to help me stay active and get into shape, and so I have used this opportunity to start running in the morning.  I found a great website, mapmyrun.com which allows me to draw on the map the route of my run and it tells me how far it is.  It also has some great other features and allows me to track just how far I am going each day and each week.  Today was the first time I have been running in a very long time, so I thought I would take it easy and started with a simple 1 km run.  It was difficult, being out of shape and all, but it was also fun.

This reminded me of high school, when I was part of the Cross Country team as well as the Drama club.  It’s funny, because people asked me the same question when they found out that I did both of these activities, “How could you do that? I could never do that.”  And my response was the same.

When people would ask me about running and say that they could never run that far I would tell them that Cross Country is not really all about running, the actual race is just a small part of what Cross Country is.  Mostly I enjoyed being part of the team and spending time with friends.  True, it was challenging and difficult sometimes finishing a race, but when it was over you had a great sense of accomplishment and you felt good about yourself.

Drama was the same way.  People would tell me that they could never get on stage in front of that many people, but I would tell them that actually being on stage was just a small part of what made drama fun.  Mostly I enjoyed being with my friends as we rehearsed and had fun.  And, while it sometimes made me nervous to be on stage, you just close your mind to that and do what you have rehearsed and when it’s over you feel great and have had a whole lot of fun.

Life is a lot like Cross Country and Drama.  We often find ourselves in challenging situations, doing things are difficult while we are doing them, but if we look beyond what we are actually doing we can see the benefits and the upside of doing the difficult things.  No one ever believed that life was supposed to be easy, but we are supposed to enjoy living, we are supposed to have fun.  Life will not always be simple, but if we have a good group of friends and family, we will love life, even in the difficult and challenging times.

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