Yes it’s a word!  I’m learning who and what inspires me, getting to know myself better.  I’m defining my dreams and optimizing my health, striving to be the best possible version of myself.  Endorphins fit nicely into this plan.  They help me feel optimistic, content, grateful, peaceful and successful.  So I feel best when I push myself.  Yesterday, after sleeping in and sipping coffee, I went for a run in the sun.  It was past 10 AM, so it was already quite warm.  I went without expectations of how far I would run.  My right ankle has been a weak link.  Heat makes running hard.  I was pampering myself to celebrate my birthday.  After walking two minutes, I felt the need to start running, before it got even hotter.  I focused on keeping my column straight, leaning the column forward and landing on the middle of my feet.  I hoped these Chi Running tips would help my body hold up.  I also focused on relaxing my ankle muscles, so I wouldn’t be fighting myself.  When I relax well, I can run farther.  I found some big trees that offered shade, so I fit them into my route multiple times, avoiding cooking my brain and sapping my energy.  Then, as I ran, I became mentally tough.  I found determination to make progress.  I remembered past running highs.  I recalled basking in the joy of being fully alive.  I felt the refreshing, almost cool, breeze in the shade.  I kept on plodding, left, right, left, right……

I diverted my attention from the heat, sweat, tiring muscles and sore ankle with mind games.  I strived to balance the benefits of achievement with the risk of lasting injuries.  So I targeted four miles, after feeling good to start.  Then I kept ratcheting my target up, checking in with my ankle, and relaxing it.  I ran for sixty-two minutes, or about 6.5 miles.  When I was done I felt so good!  I felt great!  I knew in my heart that my attitude would be good for the rest of the day.  I knew I’d made progress on my physical and mental health.  I knew that whatever came the rest of the day, my cup would be running over.  I had faith.  My kids chose to spend time with me, so it was a great day.  Today I’ll find ways to have another great day.  Perhaps a long bicycle ride?

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