Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What Drives Me

"We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” - Thich Nhat Hanh

This morning the alarm went off and it was still very dark out. I stumbled out of bed, drank a cup of coffee, ate a PB&J, did a quick read of the paper, and it was still very dark outside. Dark and cold. Really cold (at least for this North Carolinian) and I was really tired. All of my running clothes were dirty. I was sore from yesterday's 2350 yards of swimming and 40 minutes of weight lifting. I did not want to run.

But, I did run.

In cold, in the dark, in dirty clothes.

During today's run I thought about what drives me to do this each morning. What's fueling my engine and getting me out the door?

First, on a very basic level, I care about my health and know that this is my one and only body - my one and only life - so I'd better take care of it. Daily workouts are my prayer of thanksgiving for just having the ability to move -- and if, I get really honest ( and expose a little vanity), my way of ensuring that my outside body matches the person I'm working to be on the inside.

Certainly, my commitment to Genesis Home and raising awareness about homelessness is a critical factor. Knowing that I'm running toward something outside of myself helps counter the devil on my shoulder that occasionally whispers "oh, just skip it."

Also, the sense of pure accomplishment I feel after a tough workout, race, or successful fundraising campaign also pushes all of the happy buttons in this classic oldest child, type-A gal. I've conquered the just-skip-its enough times now to know that satisfaction waits on the other side.

But this morning's fuel was something different. I ran because I believe that change is possible. I've seen myself change over the last year as I've become a triathlete. I've seen Genesis Home families completely change as they work the program and end their own homelessness. I've seen communities change as small groups of people decide not to just-skip-it - and instead get out the door and go run -- towards something different.

I wouldn't do this if I did not know change to be real and true and accessible.

Changing homelessness, I'm on it. Changing my running clothes -- apparently, I'm still struggling.

Be sure to vote today!