Thursday, September 25, 2008

Today is Not That Day

This month’s Runner’s World magazine featured an article called “Get Motivated.” One contributor said, “I taped my mantra to the wall: ‘There will be a day when you can no longer do this. Today is not that day.’” I thought quite a bit about that mantra and made it the theme of my thinking this morning during my 5-mile run.

As I got out of bed once again in the darkness at 5:30 am, pulled on my running gear and stepped outside – I thought about how I didn’t really like running in the dark, or early in the morning when I wanted to sleep. But then I thought about how there will be a day, someday, when I wouldn’t be able to get up and run anymore. Today is not that day.

As I ran along my normal 5-mile path, I thought about the people I have been running for who can’t run like I do. Like my dad, who shuffles to get around; my mom with heart disease and emphysema who feels exhausted just walking across a room; and our little friend Elijah – who probably CAN run, but with his cancer treatments would have a hard time. There will be a day when I may be too ill to run. Today is not that day.

As I ran I met a fellow runner I see frequently on my runs. Joan is a 58 year old runner who runs with her husky. She always wants to stop and talk – and sometimes I just want to keep running and get my day going. But today I stopped and we chatted a bit. As I continued my run, I thought about how much I would miss seeing her if one day she stopped running. There may be a day when she no longer can do this – and I knew I would miss her. Today is not that day.

Michael Mucklow’s instrumental guitar music played as I mused on these thoughts and others. I enjoyed the cool air, about 65 deg F, along with a small breeze. The sky was clear and the stars and moon were bright as the eastern sky just started to change from black to a brightening blue. As I finished up my easy feeling run in my driveway, I looked at my Garmin and saw that I ran the run as fast as I did just two days ago, but with an average heart rate of 147 bpm – easy run. I looked up as the crescent moon smiled at me.

There will be a day when I can no longer do that.

Today is not that day.


jojusakaanda said...

I thank God everyday today is not that day. It is never "I have to run today", it is always "I get to run today".....we need to be reminded to appreciate this everyday.

Susan said...

This is moving (pardon the pun). I completely agree with that quote, also. Good for you! We should all be better about appreciating the little things, like seeing Joan out on a run.

Tammy said...

That's very true, as much as I struggle at the present time and want to run, I know I'll beable to again soon. (3rd time the charm for me)I still appreciate every day I did and will beable too and finally accomplish my dream of running a marathon and to help motivate others.

Michael Mucklow said...

I too am stirred within by what you've written Chris. What if one day my hands are no longer nimble enough to play the way I do? That's OK because, for now, I can say 'Today is Not That Day'. I like this! It reminds me that I'm thankful for the musician I have become. And if one day it ends I'll then be able to say 'I have no regrets'.

ShirleyPerly said...

Great post, Chris! Indeed, even if a run doesn't go as well as I'd like, or I'm not able to run as fast I want (which has been a lot recently), it's better than no run at all. PS - I've seen that lady with the Husky many times along Lockwood and would miss her too!

Leia said...

I'm stoked to hear that quote affected someone else as it did me. I cut that little orange box that had that incredibly motivating quote in my runner's magazine this month and taped it to my nightstand. The true beauty of that quote is it pertains to so many other aspects of my life. I've told nearly a dozen people about that quote ever since I read it. And it has truly transformed my running these days, especially during the hard runs when I just don't feel like putting forth the effort. I take in my stride, I hear my breathing, and feel my heartbeat; I notice the sweat on my arms, the way my shoes comfort my feet on every stride and I think about the days when I'll no longer be able to run anymore... and a smile emerges from my face as I think, "today is not that day."