Personal responsibility

Yesterday was a hard mental day for me.  I had to wake early to finish preparation for a meeting I didn’t really want to attend to talk about a subject that makes me mentally, spiritually and physically sick.  Someone is claiming that my colleagues and I are guilty of unacceptable behaviour.  It’s not a true allegation, as I know by both the evidence and experience.   In fact, it is completely contrary to parts of my experience.  This person wants something for nothing, and is accepting no responsibility for their own actions.  So now I – and my coworkers – have to expend a lot of time and energy defending ourselves.  It’s baffling and it’s infuriating and it’s very sad.

What does that have to do with running?  And what does running have to do with the situation?  Well, everything and nothing.

I had speed work last night, and our coach was out of town.  So instead of being on the track, running with a group to keep me motivated to do the thing that is the hardest for me, there were only a few of us running loops around the campus pretty much on our own.  I didn’t want to do it.   At all.   I just felt like I had nothing to give – the day had drained me.  But I showed up. 

We had five loops to do, 1 warmup loop, 1 cooldown loop, and 3 speed loops.  I was hoping that I could run out my frustratiosn, but my legs didn’t think that was the greatest idea.  After loop 2, I started the rationalization. ” Maybe I could just skip the 3rd speed lap…”  But I kept running and here’s what happened instead.  My 3rd speed lap was my fastest.  Somewhere in the previous lap, I realized that quitting would be letting myself down.  It would in a way, also let Joe down.  He is my greatest supporter.  He drives me to my workouts and waits patiently while I do something for myself.  If I quit on me, I quit on him.  I would also be letting my coach down.  Not that she could care one way or the other, but I know that she wants to help us reach our full potential, and if I don’t follow her suggestions, my performance in some way may reflect on her program.  And I would be letting down all those friends who cheer me on in so very many ways. 

I made a commitment – a public one, given this blog – that I would do this training.  Do I think missing this workout would have any effect on my next race?  I have no idea, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t.  Not physically.  But mentally, it might just matter one race when I think I can’t, and I remember this run. 

And how does that relate to the situation at work?  I feel sorry for that individual.  The next time “things” get hard or uncomfortable or not what they want, they might just quit.  Let someone else be responsible for the consequences.  Blame “them.”   And they won’t think about how their not taking responsibility affects other people.

I don’t want to live like that.  I want to be able to hold myself responsible for my own actions. Running gives me a very objective means of testing how well I do that.  There’s the training program, and here’s what I did.  Do they match?  Was I responsible?

I’m glad I ran the full 5 loops last night.

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