I’ve made it clear that I am a person of goals. I love having something to strive for, and in my previous post I listed twenty things that I’d like to achieve in the coming 19 months. most of which I’d like to achieve in the next seven. Many of my goals are exercise based, some are diet/lifestyle based, and some are just general, but my biggest goal of all is to figure out how to relax, to get back to that place where I march to the beat of my own drum, where I let things roll into my life like a soft wave gently rocking my boat. For about five years now, I’ve been in a place where I have been trying to force things to happen in my life, my career, my routine, my world, but I want to go back to where I was before that, where I just sort of watched things unfold.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always had wishes and desires, and I’ve always had ideas about how I wanted things to go, but I remember being much less forceful about how I was going to end up and where. I think it had something to do with my firm reliance in the Sermon on the Mount, specifically Matthew 6:25-34
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of Godand hisrighteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
I used to try to live by this, not worrying about what I would do for work, trusting that I’d always have a job, and my life seemed so much simpler. Maybe I’m doing the thing I do where I make the past seem so much better than it really was, living nostalgically and looking through the rose colored glasses. Or maybe I’m thinking I was more relaxed than I was, but I feel as I am in total stress mode lately, trying to control everything that happens to me, around me, with me. But when push comes to shove, I realize I can’t control anything except my own actions and my own attitude, which have sucked lately.
So, my big resolution is to sit back, relax, and just let things roll. In the words of Bob Marley, “Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be alright.” I’m hoping not to stress about things and try to control my destiny, but I’m hoping just to let things unfold as they unfold and to try to accept whatever comes my way. Easier said than done, I know, but I’ve got to get rid of the stress.
One thing that I find to be helpful to me to not stress and for me to realize that I just have to let things unfold is to train for athletic pursuits that seem to be beyond my reach. These pursuits, and sometimes my lack of ability to accomplish them, humble me in ways that other things can’t. That being said, on Monday, I will start training for my second Half Ironman, the Racine 70.3 which will take place on July 20 in Wisconsin. My training schedule will consist of three weekly runs, two swims, and two bikes. I have a tentative schedule, but I want it to be flexible. I am trying not to let this training schedule become one more thing that gives me stress. The act of exercise is very stress reducing, but the coordinating of it all can be stress inducing.
For example, today I realized that I wanted to use the weights and the track at the Ball’s “new” wellness facility. so I went and paid $90 for a faculty pass to the SWRC, but then I remembered that I am taking a class in the spring. I looked to see how much I had to pay as a student, and found out that they changed it, so I didn’t need to pay at all, that it’s included in my tuition for my class. Curses. Many curses. All that to say, my stress level was elevated by that drama, but then I said to myself, don’t worry. And I didn’t stress.
Another thing that helps me not to worry about things and to reduce my stress is eating properly, which for me means eating as close to paleo as possible. Usually I lean more toward the primal end of things because I eat cheese on occasion, and I’ve decided to let myself have some legitimate popcorn once in a while. As you’ve noticed on my list of goals, I intend to be alcohol free this year, with the exception of a celebratory beer or two after Racine 70.3, after Big Shoulders in September, and after Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in October. I’m also aiming toward minimal ice cream and candy consumption, so about 90% paleo. When I eat right, I feel better, and when I feel better, I exercise more. Since I’ve gained 25-30 pounds since July, I figure I have a lot to lose when it comes to healthier eating this year. My goal is to lose a total of 60 pounds by next December, and I really I hope I can do it. Again, though, my main goal is reduced stress and no worries, so if I lose it, I do. If I don’t, I don’t. I’m aiming to make real life changes here.
So, in a nutshell, no worries. Every little thing’s gonna be alright.