Accepting Change

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
~ Reinhold Niebuhr

A couple of weeks ago a friend underwent major surgery which has laid her up for a while. Her husband was at a meeting with me several days afterward and when I asked how she was doing he said that she was doing pretty well but that she “overdid it a bit yesterday” and was really feeling it.

My comment, “Sometimes we have to overdo things in order to know our limits” came back to bite me this week.

On Friday my B2R wobble ramp was delivered. It’s a cleverly designed little bit of wood construction that is used to build leg strength and balance in runners. B2RWobbleRampI started the 6 week transition program to natural shoes the next day, mindful (I thought) to the repeated admonition to work within my ability.

I did the balance and strength exercises, run warm up, slow run, and cool down. The next day I followed the Day Two program: exercises, warmup, and normal run in my old shoes. The following day I awoke with a throbbing right ankle and a sense of frustration at being hobbled so quickly in a training program. A couple of days later after resting there is some lessening of the pain, but the ache is still there.

It is helpful to know that I am not alone in this journey. This morning my inbox contained a post from Barefoot Beginner on “the paradoxical theory of change.” It’s a concept from Gestalt therapy that says  “the best way to change is to accept and be comfortable with where you are at the moment.”

So, the reminders are flowing fast and steady: know (and accept) where I am; start from there (even if it’s FAR from where I want to be);  stay the course; lower the bar – a LOT – on what I think I can do and scale WAY back the pace and intensity.

I just finished reading “The Blue Zones: Lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest“. It’s full of all kinds of suggestions for living a long life but the profoundest lesson from all of the ancient people profiled and studied is less about trying to live long so much as living well now.

Happiness, acceptance, and courage are choices, as is persistence.

3 thoughts on “Accepting Change

  1. Having just been recently laid low by a bowel obstruction and subsequent surgery, I totally get this message. I went out yesterday for the first time, and was shocked by how much I am not yet ready for public. One day at a time. Be here now. (And all that jazz). Nice to see you in my feed, Michael.

  2. Sorry to hear about the issue. I’ve seen that first hand in my family and the pain can be off-the-charts. Glad to hear that you are listening to your body as you go through the healing process. “Poco a poco el camino lejos” (Little by little the long road.)

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