"I could pretend this shadow was the old version of myself and I was running to catch it (out in front), or running away (behind me)."
A concept came to mind while I ran in the evening of the day… Out run the shadow.
I’ve been taking running more seriously since the lockdown of Covid:19. At home workouts offered an average level of results but equipment owned is limited and buying more is an expensive prospect. While remaining on furlough and the gym doors locked shut I had to reawaken a former fitness interest of mine:
As per usual, anything you haven’t practiced in a while, sucks, to begin with. There’s pain from the thought of it, pain from the doing it, and pain from the realising that you aren’t as good as you once were. It didn’t stop me though. My goals are to breach a 5 mile run every 2-3 weeks with 2 mile runs supplemented at least twice a week, every week.
The 5 mile serves as the barrier breaker opportunity – the smaller runs (though still remaining intense) I have used to maintain consistency and fitness condition. I had a higher self awareness of a “former me” that is trailing behind and trying to catch me, as if it had power to pull me back to being the man of yesterday. It sounds a little crazy but sometimes you have to get creative on yourself.
Thanks to some clever app developers over at Adidas, I can monitor my average speed per mile, elevation gain, elevation loss (basically hills and slopes) and the final judgement of duration time. It’s addicting really. I am pleased with the results that over these couple months the metrics are improving, shedding minutes off my time with each attempt. Going with the concept of the shadow mentioned in the title of this post, I’m pleased to of also developed that ever important hunger to beat the slower, older version of me which I think you could relate to.
Let me explain…
There’s a lot you can think about during a run. I’ve pondered all sorts of stuff but one time I noticed I had a shadow either following behind me, stuck at my side, or if the sun was setting at my back, the shadow was out in front of me. This gave me some competitive edge with myself separate from the measurable metrics. I could pretend this shadow was the old version of myself and I was running to catch it (out in front) or running away (behind me).
Along the way I realized some things about this idea. I am 30 years old now and it made me wonder about what other “stuff” from my younger self I have either been running towards, away or beside.
Sin, bad habits, negative situation, fear of failure perhaps?
What about catching up to beat the shadow in front?
Day to day tasks, job searching, trusting God, character sharpening, developing skills.
Some shadows remain at my side that haven’t been solved yet, and that’s ok.
Various body insecurities, doubt, pessimism – those kinds of things.
With the array of stuff we can track with the internet on our modern phones, these real life things are still nigh impossible to discern the position of our own shadows.
“Is this all behind me?”
“Am I chasing something worthy of my time?”
“Is my former self right beside me, right where I left it?”
You might ask.
These answers I cannot answer to you specifically but by all means check your laces are tied tight before you run from, beside or after a shadow in your life. Do battle with them, watch their position carefully but never be afraid their presence. Make the old version of yourself work for you by thrusting you forward onto the path ahead.