The more I contemplate on the subject of CHOICES, my awareness of the choices I make, the power that each and every choice I make carries with it, the more I realize how much there is to say on the subject. I suppose it serves me right to now have to choose which thoughts to share and which to file for another day.
MY FINAL SEASON AS A TRACK COACH:
My final track season as a coach started this last Monday. My first piece of advice to the runners was about the choices they will make this season, on and off the track, and how those choices will determine their success this season. I currently have the privilege of coaching the distance runners. For our team, those are the 800/1500/3000 meter athletes. I also get to co-coach the 4×400 relay teams with the wonderful Dusty Harrah. (A side note: a number of years ago, I was gifted the chance to be part of the coaching squad that “Dennis Rice” and a little later, “Dusty Harrah” were athletes on. I cannot describe how wonderful it is to come full circle and get to coach on the same staff with them. It is a blessing every “old” coach should get to experience at least once in a lifetime).
Ah, but back to the distance runners: Distance runners are a unique breed, for many reasons, but the one that is relevant to this discussion is that for much of their training, they are alone. At best, on those many days of long runs, they are with a fellow runner. But often on those long runs, on the weekend runs, during their evening general strength drills, and even their cool downs are done alone. Trust me, I know there are some runners that get started on their long run for the day and just as they get around the corner and out of sight, they will head to their buddies house and play on their Atari for the next 60 minutes. Ok, their Nintendo. The effort they put into their workout is completely up to them. They make that choice each and every day. And it is in the simplicity of those daily choices that will determine what kind of a season, what kind of success they will have this season as a distance runner. As much as I would like to make the choice for them, it simply comes down to what they choose to do. WARNING: Here’s my sermon portion for you: What choices are you making to reach your potential at whatever it is you are choosing to do? What choices are you making that hinder you from living your life to its fullest?
HOBBY CHOOSING: If you have any free time, any “Me Time,” what do you choose to do with it? One of the joys I have in this stage of my life is being what I call an explorer. I see something that interests me, I spend sometime on the internet investigating it, exploring it, heck maybe even trying it. I play guitar, shoot short movies, write short movie scripts, read books, do some Nia, and a plethora of other subjects. They are all choices I make on how to use my time with things that feed me. Things that feed my mind, my body, my emotions, my spirit. I get to choose how much time I spend with a particular interest. I get to choose when I spend my time on each of these interests and how I balance those interests. And I’m happy to report to you that I’ve come to the place that I don’t beat myself up for choosing to play guitar tonight over writing. Or choosing reading over guitar the next night. I think you get the idea, but really (WARNING) what I want to ask. What choices are you making with your time to feed you? To nourish you? To fill your cup?
Some of you reading this blog may still be unaware of what Nia is, or isn’t. (No, it’s not a new age religion). In a nutshell, it is a movement practice, meaning we move. Typically for 1 hour. The movement is a mix of Martial Art moves, Dance Moves, and Healing Arts Moves and set to the soothing, healing, get up and go music, that will help you condition your body, your mind, your emotions, and your soul. What say you? Don’t believe it? I dare you, go to nianow.com and find a class near you. Try it and if you find it doesn’t feed your body, your soul, your mind or you emotions, the class is on me.
But I digress: One of the basic tenants of Nia, dare I say, “THE” basic tenant is to CHOOSE sensation. To choose the sensation of the “Joy of Movement.” (JOM) Not the emotional joy, but the energy, the universal energy from all around us and from within. Learning to make the conscious “choice” to connect to that energy, that JOM, is a continuing journey for me. But the point….”the point” I want to hit home is that it is a “choice”. I may be making the simple “cross behind” move to the rhythmic music of Angelique Kidjo and the thought comes to me, what am I sensing? What am I sensing in my feet, my core, my legs, my arms? Have I chosen to connect with the energy, the ease of this particular movement, this (my) body’s way, this day. For me, JOM is when my body is moving in it’s own way, with efficiency, with energy, with ease, all by my choosing. One of the way’s my body gives me feedback as to whether I am connected with JOM or not is whether my body is sensing pleasure with this movement. If not, I change the movement until I do sense it.
JOY OF MOVEMENT FOR YOUR LIFE: For just a moment, think about having that basic tenant, “choosing the joy of movement” for your life. Wouldn’t it be something if every choice I make, every movement that I choose to make, every thought I choose to act upon, every emotion I choose to receive would be with my choosing to do, to accept, to receive from a place of “JOM”. When I rise out of bed in the morning. When I drive to work behind the….well, the person who chooses to drive different than I would. OR when the person in front of me at the check out line with the completely full shopping cart has chosen to disregard the “express” sign. What is it I am sensing? What is it I’m connecting with? And to not kid myself, even by default, I am making a choice. The more I’m aware of this, the more I practice this, in my Nia classes and outside my Nia classes, the more I find I’m choosing the Universal Joy of Movement. Whose companions, just to name a few, are Pleasure, Peace, and Love. WARNING: What are you choosing to connect with Today? Tomorrow?
I am now faced with the difficult choice between a “Marie Calendars” frozen dinner and “Frosted Flakes” for dinner. Ah, I love my life.
Whatever you choose to do next….for heavens sake, have fun…..Fred