Follow The Sweaty Brick Road

Austin SundayIt’s a beautiful Sunday here in Maine, Modern Philosophers.

Since I usually write an advice column on Sunday, I’m going to advise you to get outside and find something to do to take advantage of this gorgeous Summer day.  Before we know it, Autumn will be here, and we’ll be wondering what happened to Summer.

I got up early and did my morning run.  This is week five of my running program, so I thought I’d push myself a little further today to see if my body could handle it.

The road I run on seems to go on forever, and I bet it leads all the way to Los Angeles.  I always turn around, though, when I hit Pierce Road because that is two miles from The House on the Hill.

Today, I just kept running when I got to the two mile mark.  The first thing I discovered was that the shoulder suddenly vanishes.  The second thing I realized was that it was a steady downhill, which meant yet another hill on my return route.

I passed a scary looking house with a For Sale sign on the front lawn.  My guess is that sign will be there for a very long time.  The lack of a shoulder and the continued downward slope caused me to turn around after about two and a half minutes.

That new hill immediately made an impact, but I took it slow and steady as my legs ached and my lungs burned.  Soon enough, I was back at my normal halfway point, but I was not moving at my usual speed.

Austin big smileThankfully, there was someone out walking well ahead of me.  I set my sights on catching her, and that was distraction enough from how much I was suffering.

By the time I caught the walker, I had less than a mile and a half left.  My body had recovered from the extra distance and the unexpected incline, and it was back to business as usual.

I kept thinking to myself that the extra time out on the road was going to pay off when I did my weekly weigh in once I got home.  Then I cranked the music a little louder, and focused on being back on my front porch.

When I got to the final hill of my run, I noticed that I didn’t have the usual kick that I’d had over my last few runs.  To me, that was a good thing.  My Deep Thought was that if I had enough left in the tank to charge up that hill, it meant I wasn’t expending enough energy out on the road.

I stumbled up the driveway and collapsed on my front lawn.  I was exhausted and dripping sweat, but I felt amazing.  A quick glance at my stopwatch told me I had spent an extra five minutes on my route, which meant I probably added a little less than half a mile.

Austin orbIt only took an extra five minutes out of my Sunday, but I proved to myself that I am capable of doing more.  That’s going to motivate me to kick even more ass this week when I run.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like to take chances, I don’t like to try new things, and I never push myself to test my limits.

I could be capable of running a half marathon, but I’ll never know since the four mile run has become my comfort zone.

Obviously, this Deep Thought goes for everything in my life.  I’ve always been a “better safe than sorry” kind of guy, and as a result, I live a lonely, unfulfilled life.

It was only an extra five minutes, but for this Modern Philosopher, it was a glimpse at the untapped potential beneath my toga.  I’m glad I pushed myself a little further down that sweaty brick road.

I almost forgot to mention that the scale told me I’ve lost 9 lbs over the past five weeks!

What about you, Modern Philosophers?  Do you think you’re tapping into your full potential?  Do you ever push yourself to find out if you’re capable of more?  If not, what’s holding you back?

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About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Fitness, Humor, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Follow The Sweaty Brick Road

  1. High five to pushing yourself harder. I’m proud of you 🙂 You might also be proud of me….I have recently taken up running. Me, running?! I know! What a thought! But…I’m yet to find a toga that doesn’t trip me up whilst I run… Any suggestions?!

  2. grannyK says:

    Nice job on the weight loss! So far, in three weeks, I’ve taken on a whopping 2 pounds lol. Better than gaining 2, though!

  3. April says:

    That’s awesome!! Keep up the good work 😉 Now I find myself a little motivated to exercise!

  4. donedreaming says:

    You are disappearing before our very eyes!! Not sure that’s a good thing .. I’m reluctant to push harder in case something gives then I’ll be out of it for a while which will put me back. I think I’ve a way to go before I push the next level 🙂

  5. Congrats on your 4-miler, Austin! I ran 4 yesterday, too 🙂
    I’ve ran 2 marathons and over a dozen halves…my knees cried uncle and I took a year off. Yesterday was the first 4-miler that felt like the old days. Reading your story here makes me wish we could share a trail…or a race…someday! Happy Sunday!

  6. markbialczak says:

    Way to push on, Austin. I think you should set a time goal for minutes-to-add each Sunday. Five sounds good, considering you were able to handle that today. You’re going to keep the new distance on your run from now on, right? Use this formula, and you’ll be up to that half-marathon soon enough!

    I try to push myself out of my comfort zone, my friend, though I agree it’s easier to stay with the tried-and-true. Heck, others have done the pushing for me in the past few years as well.

  7. Ali Isaac says:

    This is all very interesting to me as I am just about to start my running program tomorrow. I’ve been wearing in my runners over the weekend. I also have some weight to lose. Wish me luck!
    Ps. 9lbs… That’s over half a stone in just 5 weeks! Wow!, pretty good going, is that through running only, or diet too?

  8. The fellows at the Sneaker Store (where I get my running shoes) tell me to increase my run by 10 percent each week. I feel happy that you felt so awesome at the end of your run, and I like what you said about the glimpse of untapped potential. I have been having trouble getting back into running after the Boilermaker 15K, but I do not despair. I have stepped out of my comfort zone many times in my life: joining the army, running the Boilermaker, trading optical for factory work… but living up to my potential? Ah, that is a challenge I must face. Thanks for this post.

    • Austin says:

      I think that anyone who says he lives up to his potential is lying. We should always be pushing ourselves to do more!

      • It’s true: you never do everything you could do. But we mustn’t allow striving to do more let us discount what we have done. You, for example, writing for a TV show and appearing on it sometimes, writing screenplays and novels, as well as an extremely popular blog…

      • Austin says:

        Thanks. But I should be doing more with my writing career and with finding someone with whom to share my life. 🙂

      • What did we just say? We can all do more. Be happy we’ve done what we have and drive on. I personally need to write a LOT more, and I will. Maybe even starting as soon as I log off here.

      • Austin says:

        Good plan. I just posted a new short story. Writing is under control for the night! 🙂

  9. jan says:

    Congrats on sticking to your plan and losing weight! My cat running around and making mischief all night makes it hard for me get out of the house early so I blame my cat.

  10. Mindy says:

    Great job, Austin! Pushing yourself a little harder doesn’t always end badly, and now you know! I can’t wait to see/read more about your new accomplishments!

  11. ksbeth says:

    congrats and keep on sweating austin )

  12. nolanwrites says:

    Well done Austin pushing yourself a little bit more! Add on a few minutes weekly and you never know, maybe a half marathon will be in your comfort zone! Great job on the weight loss!! Happy and healthy all the way!! Sending you a virtual high five!! 🙂

  13. Your hard work is paying off! 9 lbs! Woohoo! What did the brit-accented guy have to say on this one?😁

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