This is the sort of Deep Thought that ricochets around in my head when I’m still half asleep and running towards the sunrise on Eastern Avenue.
It was a perfect morning for a run. The sun was slowly making its ascent, and there was a cool breeze that rippled my toga and kept me from overheating.
As always, it was a struggle to find my stride at the start, and that’s when the whole metaphor thought formed. I realized that the first mile and change of my route was uphill, and that was probably why it was constantly a challenge for me to find my groove.
Once the road leveled off, my body was ready for the run, and then prepared to pick up the pace on the downhill that led back to The House on the Hill.
Isn’t that a perfect metaphor for life, Modern Philosophers? We fight our way through the uphill portions, just so we can enjoy the glide downhill. I suppose depending on how we live our lives, the uphill to downhill ratio will vary.
I chose that picture of Sisyphus for the top of the post because any guy in a toga and friend of Zeus is going to love Greek Mythology. In that image, I see the Austin I want to be as Sisyphus pushing the enormous boulder that represents lazy, out of shape Austin up that steep incline. The House on the Hill is probably at the top. I’m sure Gary the Gargoyle is circling overhead, just out of frame, making sure lazy Austin doesn’t roll back and crush healthy Austin to death.
We don’t always get much say in when we hit the uphill portions of life, or for how long they are going to last. I do think we define ourselves, however, by how we approach them. Do we take them slow and steady? Do we complain the whole way up and stop often to take breaks? Do we just charge up the damn hill to see what waits on the other side?
I had a wonderful gliding downhill moment yesterday. I was having a steep incline of a morning at work, and then my phone lit up with a text message from The Girl Who Always Knows When I Could Use A Smile. In one of her texts, she told me how proud she was of me for all my running.
Next time you get to the bottom of a metaphorical hill, Modern Philosophers, give some thought about how you want to climb it. It could determine how the rest of your day, week, or life goes.
One never knows with such things.
My advice? Just run up that hill, and then see where it goes from there…