TheFatGuy has been thinking about this question lately, 'What am I running from and what am I running toward?' I guess since I have started actually running with my brother, Walter, recently it has come to the front of my mind. My journey is an endless marathon of sorts. It takes on different looks at different times. I felt I had to write about this feeling of 'running from and running toward things'. I needed to write it to make some sense of it. You may be able to help me here so let me know your thoughts about this post. It is one I am doing 'on the fly'.
Maybe I should list out the things TheFatGuy thinks he has run from or is running from in his life:
- The shy short chubby kid he was as a child
- The person that could not control alcohol in his 20s
- The obese out-of-control eater
- The procrastinator that puts some things off
- The person that feels inadequate at times
- The judgment of others
- Sometimes just life!
These items are things that have consumed TheFatGuy from time to time throughout his life. He invested a lot of time and energy in 'running from things'. Running from things is all too often counterproductive to living a fulfilled life; to having a journey he could embrace and celebrate. Why did he run from these things? I guess it is the old fight or flight mode. You either stand and fight or take flight! He did not understand other options were available.
He did not start understanding there were other options until he surrendered to alcohol in 1984. He battled with alcohol for 10 years and lost over and over again. He tried fleeing on several occasions only to find himself back in the fight of his life with that potent enemy! He came to understand that his continued 'fight or flight' alcohol battle was one bitter loss after another. Then with God's grace and guidance and the support of family he came to know the battle need not be fought. He came to understand the below prayer (Serenity Prayer):
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
He did not have to fight. He did not have to flee. He had to accept the fact that alcohol was not a battle he wanted or needed to fight. He did not need to run from alcohol, but accept the fact that it was something he could not have as part of his life. He had developed the wisdom to understand he could not maintain any relationship with alcohol. He needed to have the courage to change the things he could change in his life and the change that needed to happen was to stop the battles with alcohol.
The things TheFatGuy is running from are facts of life he needs to acknowledge and accept. He needs change what he can change and pray he has the wisdom to know what he can change and what he cannot change. Depending on your perspective, this could be an expanded version of 'fight or flight' with a focus on 'flight'.
Because of the Serenity Prayer and life's lessons, TheFatGuy is becoming more and more focused on what he is running toward:
- Combating Childhood Obesity
- Wanting to share his story with anyone that will listen. He wants everyone to know they CAN change their lives at any time.
- Becoming TheBEAST he knows he can become to show people they can change
- Finding ways to enjoy life and the people and things he loves most in life
- Taking care of ME and becoming the best ME for the people in MY life
TheFatGuy has become more and more focused on things he is running toward and less focused on what he is running from in life. As a matter of fact, TheBEAST runs from nothing now. He is focused on running toward certain things in life and he is not concerned with running from anything! In some ways the things he was running from have become building blocks for the things he is running toward.
In his present journey TheFatGuy works each day to shed the 'baggage' in life or the things he ran from in the past. He works to deal with these things daily so the negative counterproductive running does not start. His focus is on what he is running toward and how he can get there. The paths of 'running from' and 'running toward' are two entirely different paths. That is why it is SO important for TheFatGuy to work on taking an ''honest" look at how things are going on a daily basis. Once, he starts 'running from' it takes him further away from what he wants to 'run toward'!
This may or may not make sense to you, but it is making sense to TheFatGuy now. Thanks for reading today!
Note to ME and YOU: Focus on what you are 'running toward' in your journey. Work to shed the daily baggage that starts you 'running away' from things and ultimately causes you to 'run away' from the journey YOU WANT!
TheFatGuy, TheFitGuy, TheBEAST