This morning I was driving to hot yoga in the rain at 5 AM when I passed an old man jogging on the side of the road. He wore a gray sweatshirt and black sweatpants and between the rain and the darkness, I almost didn’t see him at all. But I caught the glint of his silvery hair in my headlights as he bobbed toward me, shoulders hunched but arms swinging, and I thought to myself, “I can’t believe he’s out here.”
I’m betting that he’s one of those guys who runs no matter what.
A story formed in my mind – one of a man who’s been running for years – maybe since high school – maybe since he returned from a tour of duty…
I imagined the mornings he’d left to run with young children still tucked in their beds while his wife made coffee and tidied the kitchen. I thought about the mornings he spent lost in memories as he passed a school bus stop years after his own brood had left the nest.
I imagined him lacing up his shoes the morning after his wife had died to burn through the emotion with each heavy step. Rain or shine, hot or cold – something about that man’s grimace of determination told me he runs no matter what.
It made me think about the things we do no matter what.
We all have them – habits we’re beholden to and traditions we won’t break and rituals we hold dear – they weave the very fabric of our days.
Some of them buoy us and others may nearly destroy us, but if we pay attention to them we’ll see a pattern emerge and it will reveal what we value most in life.
In the name of these, we will invest time and energy. We will rearrange our day or our week to fit them in. We protect them first.
These are what we’ll be doing even as life transforms around us. They anchor us to ourselves.
So today, consider this.
Then ask why.