You have probably heard or seen the serenity prayer at some point. There is certainly a power behind the words, most frequently recognized as part of Alcoholics Anonymous and twelve-step programs. I can see the value – I expect there’s a sense of peace that can come with realizing you are powerless over something that is bigger than you; especially when you are struggling with an addiction.
It’s a tough one for me, though – at least without caveats. Maybe if you mean “the things I cannot change right now” I could get on board? You see, I spent years telling myself things were out of my control and blaming others for my failings. “I don’t have time to do this”, “I can’t do that.” The truth is, I could change all those things. I just couldn’t change them right then, in that moment – and not all at once.
I said this weekend that there is a perfect place for everyone at that moment. I was talking about fitness programs and gyms, but the message carries to any topic. I can accept that I can’t change everything in a day – but I know I can make a change over the long haul. Progress not perfection is our watchword at 1DOS. I’m living it myself, and seeing it in the Shiver. Every. Damn. Day. Patience is not easy (#stupidwhistling) but it’s necessary.
This weekend we hosted the 2nd Annual Mileage Monsters 5k. Last year on race day, I was a stressed-out mess. We had never done anything like that before; I did everything I could to be prepared but didn’t really know what to expect. The lack of control was tough for me – with a few weeks to go we were way under our attendance goal and I thought we were going to go broke. The details piled up. Hell, what if it rains???
So many of the things I was worried about, I truly couldn’t control. I am not, after all, in control of the weather. Can’t make people sign up, either! Suddenly, though, people were signing up and eventually we had almost 150 total runners – pretty darn good for a first time race. The event itself was well attended and people seemed to have a lot of fun. All in all, it was a big success!
Now, this may come as a shock to you, but 2020 has been a little different as years go. <GASP> It’s true!
After rescheduling and then converting our 1st race in Albany, NY to full virtual, we were stubbornly going ahead and making the Mileage Monsters happen. Again, signups were down, but surged at the end* so we cleared 110, with a good turnout on race day despite it being 33 degrees at run time.
*This always throws me – I’m a “sign up early and then I’m committed” kind of guy…
There were some bumps on race day, for sure, but I was never anywhere near as stressed as 2019. Is it because we’d been through it before? I’m sure that helped. I said on race day that I felt much less prepared, but much less stressed. If it’s not just a matter of experience, what has changed?
Well, to be blunt, I have. At the 2019 race, my partner Amy and I were supposed to say a few words. I froze completely. Didn’t take the mic, made her carry the load. This year, one of our bumps was the DJ – so I rented a PA, we put on a playlist and I ran the mic for most of the event – including the Foundation speech. Why could I do it this year? I’m not the same person I was a year ago. I’m more confident, more fit, and I have a plan to reach my goals. What are those goals? All in due time…
So maybe in my own context, I get the prayer after all. I am learning to control the things I can, and working to grow so I can control the others in the future. You can do the same, you know. Don’t settle for good enough. Keep working until you reach great – anything less only brings temporary serenity.