Long distance thoughts

I set out for a long run, recently, and remembered one of the virtues of a long run: pure relaxation. Planning to run an hour makes it automatic for me to relax for the first five, ten, twenty minutes. There is no pressure to do anything but find a comfortable “go all day” rhythm and relax my mind and body. Because of the distance involved, the first mile is just a happy warm-up and goes by quickly.

It’s not unlike taking a trip in the car. If you plan to go across town quickly on a short trip, it can seem to drag on because in your mind “it shouldn’t take long.” But if you plan to drive for, say, six hours to start your vacation, the first hour will go by in a snap.

So, this got me thinking two things. One: running or exercising for a long duration is easier than you might think. The mind and the body make adjustments. If not the first time, then with a little practice, it will happen that you relax into a long outing. Stay in the moment; don’t worry about how far you have yet to go.

Second thing: Cancer recovery is a long outing, an endurance event, a trip far from your normal life habits. So, too, perhaps in cancer recovery there is a need to relax as much as you can. Pace yourself to go easily. Don’t worry about how long it will all take; just stay in the moment.

That’s my thought for the day. I’m wishing all of you in cancer recovery to build up endurance and find a way to relax during your cancer challenge. Stay hopeful in the moment and try to find the positives in every day, as you make your way back to health.