February 9, 2012

The Meaning of Push

The Meaning of Push

Happiness comes only when we push our brains and hearts to the farthest reaches of which we are capable.
~ Leo Rosten

Today, I am home with a sick kid. I am playing doctor-mom, working from my kitchen, trying not be be distracted by the laundry and the unopened mail. There is never a time when there isn’t too much to do.

Today I also decided on a 5k run. It’s warm and sunny here and I thought that a break outside would clear my mind that was feeling pretty slow (think up every two hours with kid with fever and cough…I know some of you have been there).

I don’t know if it was my tired brain, but somehow, barely a third of the way into my run, I just wanted to stop. I slowed my pace, thought about the route ahead, thought about the route back. No choice seemed good.

Then I thought about what it takes to push.

A good push is often what it takes to get something done. Pushes can come in lot of forms – I have seem my kids’ coaches push a child back on the field or into the pool because he somehow knows that if he just gets him out there it will all be fine. I have felt my self pushed by a challenging task or a an obstacle that needs overcoming. It’s funny isn’t it – the way that positive enticements (accomplishment, reward, money, etc) often feel like the carrot we chase, but that a bit of adversity or an obstacle in our path can seem like a slap on the back?

As I started to run again, I thought about the wind. We often have a pretty predictable onshore wind. When I first started running it was summer and it was hot and I used to think wow, it would feel great to run with that wind in my face. I was thinking like a fan, or a dog with its head out the window.

I was wrong.

What feels great it is to run with the wind at your back. Running with the wind in your face is like running straight up a hill; running with it behind you is being pushed by a force of nature.

But today there was no wind, and no coach to encourage me, and nothing but my tired mind and tired body and I am two miles into my run so if I turn around now it’s farther back than it is to go forward. I think about walking. Then I reach down in side and try to find it. I know I have a voice in there that will encourage me when I feel low, rouse me when I am exhausted, tell me I can do it when I am certain I cannot. Maybe it is asleep?

No, it’s there. It says:

Crank up the music, shake out your legs and run. You only have another mile to go. You can make it another mile. You can do anything for that long. You already know you can because you have done this many times before. And look where you are anyway. It’s a beautiful day and you are at the beach. And hey, if you don’t get back home, the phone will be ringing and your son will be worried and people will be looking for you on Skype. So just run, ok?

And even though I wanted to whimper and cry and sit down on the side of the road I know she is right. I am usually right in these cases about myself if I will only listen to the better parts of me.

Ok. I’m running.

I am going to call this part the push-y part. While she may sometimes over step her bounds in social situations, she is pretty useful when I need her to be the wind at my back.

Hope you find your inner push if you need it too. (If not, I can always share mine.)

And here is to pushing thorough to whatever comes next.

Let’s go.








Leave a comment
  1. Valerie
    February 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    I hear you loud and clear! This morning on the treadmill (sorry, no beach today, just snow in NJ!) I really didn’t think I could do my 3.1 miles. I usually cover up the display on the machine so I am not distracted by the numbers and can focus on just running, but I kept peeking at the distance I’d gone, even though I knew I was only a mile in, then 1.7, then 2.2, etc…how many more songs in my playlist before I can hit the 3.1 and feel like I can stop?? But I got there eventually, and felt a sense of accomplishment that I would have missed had I stopped one of the many times I considered stopping. That sense of accomplishment is one thing that keeps me going some mornings!

    I learned a new term last night on Twitter: #NSV = Non Scale Victory…attaining a personal goal that has nothing to do with the number on the scale…definitely something different to focus on!

    Thanks for the post and the encouragement.

    • Jacqueline Jacques
      February 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      Valerie – I had to laugh out loud when I read this – The inside of your head must sound a lot like mine sometimes! I do the same thing with my playlist (“ok…just 3 more songs…”)
      And I love the #NSV – someone else gave me PG – personal goal (not sure if it has a twitter hash?)

      Anyway, super nice to know that you are there on the other side of the country and sharing in the journey.