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Today has been a glorious day! After what has seemed like a never ending winter, spring appears to be in sight. With temps in the 40s and 50s, it was wonderful to be able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Even with melting snow and slush covering sidewalks and streets, I couldn’t wait to get on a trail and get out for a run. While doing a few walking/running intervals I realized I had a perfect analogy for today’s “giving up for Lent” blog.

Sometimes I get in a routine and don’t really pay attention to what is going on around me. I’m going through the motions but not truly investing myself in the experience. It’s like running on a treadmill versus running outside on a trail. The treadmill gets the job done – you’re doing what you need to do – but it gets boring. Unless you’re moving the treadmill every morning, you’re looking at the same wall each time. Maybe you have a fancy one and you can program it for hills and valleys. Maybe you can watch TV or read a book while you’re running. I don’t think it matters. You aren’t fully invested in the total experience that running can give you.

No matter how many bells and whistles, your treadmill cannot give you what a good outdoor run can. You cannot imitate the sounds of the cardinals in the trees, the sight of deer and bunnies along the trail, the apprehension each time you jump over puddles, the smiles you give and receive to fellow runners or dog walkers. There’s no way to duplicate the sunshine reflecting off the melting snow or the feeling of damp, cold air on your face.

woman-running-outdoors

Let’s shake off the winter doldrums and become fully invested in spring. No more going through the motions of living. Instead, decide to be fully present in the moment.

Give the people near you your complete attention.

Listen to their stories.

Laugh at their jokes.

Smile at each person you encounter today.

Notice things.

Study something new.

Observe nature.

Take an adventure.

Discover treasures.

Live big!

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