I spent this last week in Los Angeles CA. It was a business trip that consisted of nonstop meetings. My week started at 4:30am Monday and lasted until 6:00 PM on Friday. I am not a traveler. As a matter of fact, I could be classified as a bone-fide homebody. Don't get me wrong, I love vacations, but when it comes to business travel with no time for sight seeing or family involvement, I'm a down right stick in the mud.
From the moment I found out about this trip I've dreaded it. I resisted it by procrastinating buying my airline tickets (even though this came out of my companies expense account). I procrastinated packing. I resented the fact that this trip was going to interrupt my precious time with my family, my running schedule and let alone the fine groove we have gotten into of watching Season 3 of Dexter (an event that I have come to cherish with my boys, aka. Mike, Hayden and Noah). We settle in and eat popcorn and contemplate how Dexter is going to solve his latest dilemma.
So I embarked on my trip with much resistance. It was during my second day of my busy schedule that I realized that I was resisting. I was resisting the ebb and flow and thus missing the lessons, opportunities, new relationships and experiences that this new adventure held for me. So I decided to surrender. The resistance vs surrender lesson is just one of the many lessons that running has taught me. When I find myself struggling during a run I realize that it is usually because I am resisting the process. When doing anything worthwhile, pain is inevitable. But each time, I have a choice. Can I endure this pain? How much more pain am I willing to take? Is this much pain normal for doing what I am doing? And most importantly, is this pain good for me? Will it make me stronger and a better person for enduring? In most cases, yes. If you chose to run, pain is inevitable; expected. It all boils down to this : Am I going to let this pain cause me suffering or am I going to surrender to it? Embrace it? Know that this pain, if I can quit resisting it and let it unfold, it will reveal to me what it holds and will make me stronger, healthier and a better person.
So I surrendered to my trip, the long hours, the tedious flights, the time changes and embraced the fact that I now know more about the wonderfully unique company that I work for, my peers and how they solve management dilemmas. I savored the fine dining and drinks that they bought me and the posh Hilton Hotel. I discovered that the chauffeur that picked me up at the airport had just spent the night chauffeuring the producer of 'Black Swan' who was out celebrating the oscar that he had won the night before my arrival. I learned to relax on the long flights and absorb the rare opportunity of forced stillness, read a book or in this case, write a blog. I people watched and imagined the stories of each persons life and wondered what hurts and triumphs that they have endured.
Pain in childbirth brings forth the ultimate gift, new life. Symbolic, I believe, for if we endure and surrender to the pain or discomfort in every day things it will bring us new life in one form or another.
When I resist, I miss life. So from now on, when I find myself procrastinating, resenting, resisting a work schedule, project, a particularly difficult run, I will make a conscious effort to surrender to it and let the lesson reveal itself in whatever form it choses.