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Don’t Be Afraid to be a Beginner at the Things You Are Great At

Every year when we turn our clocks back an hour in the fall, I am truly astounded by how early it gets dark. Each Spring, I find myself saying things like, can you believe it’s already April or wow, this year is flying by! Even in these perennial events, I am as surprised as if it was my first experience.


That's why I shouldn't have been shocked by my first warm weather run.


But nevertheless, that recent run snuck up on me. I’m typically a morning workout person—especially in the summer or any place where the temperature rises to near 70 degrees. Yet the other day, around noon, I decided to go for a sunshine soaked run.


Back in a bit, I shouted behind me as I left, I’m just going for a quick run today. I was excited about the first “tank top run” of the year and felt a sort of bounce as I took off down the path.


About half way through what was supposed to be a short, easy, run, I found myself nearly doubled over from the heat. Immediately, I did my mental checklist. I had a good breakfast. I’ve drank a ton of water this morning. What’s the x factor here?


That’s when I remembered I hadn’t done anything—let alone ran in 80 degree weather in many months. I thought of my last words leaving home: easy run, I’ll be back before you know it! Reader, it was not easy.


I think we take for granted, sometimes, the things that come naturally to us or the things that we love. About a week prior to the sun run day, I was talking to a friend about how—while I’m not where I want to be with my running right now, I’m obviously able to hit this time/distance combo. And yet what I pictured as a quick run a few days later completed whooped me.


As I laid in the grass, post run, the phrase “humbled by the sun” kept coming to me. But after doing more internal digging, I realized it wasn’t just about the sun, but rather my own pride. My own words, Of course I can hit this time/distance combo, rattled in my head as I threw back the “in case of emergency or illness” bottle of watered down Gatorade.


And it got me to thinking: How often do I take for granted the things in my life that I love? Of course I can do this. Of course I can figure this out. This is easy. That comes naturally. I’m not just afraid to be a beginner at something new, I’m afraid to go back to basics on the things that I do know. And I’m not talking about running anymore.


What about aspects of your job that you can do with your eyes shut? Are you sure you’re doing it in the most efficient way?


What about the habits and routines you incorporate into your daily life? Are they making you better or eating up your time?


What about the skill that everyone has encouraged in you since you were a child? Are you still trying to improve or just going through the motions?


Sometimes it takes an 80 degree day to knock you down a few steps and make you rethink “the basics.” But the good news is, we can always return to our foundations. There are so many areas in my life where I am looking to grow and learn and develop. And perhaps some of those areas need to be the things I’ve always taken for granted.


Love always,

Liz