Monday, August 26, 2013

I Get To

Think of one thing you have to do this week that you'd rather not. Clean the gutters? Give a presentation at work? Double-digit long run on a hot day? Anything.

Got it?

Now, change one word. Instead of "I have to....", say "I get to..."

How does it sound now?

I came across this article in Runners World nearly four years ago, and it completely altered my approach to not only running, but life in general.

It's so simple to take it from overwhelming to wonderful. Change every "I have to..." into "I get to..." You get to do that hill workout tonight because you are healthy, strong, and training for a race. You get to call your mom tonight because she is alive and loves you. You get to go to work because you have a job and the means to provide for yourself. Changing that one word injects so much gratitude, there is a physical relaxation in the body. Saying "I get to" acknowledges that not everyone has the chance to do what you "have" to do today. The man battling MS would love nothing more than to charge up a hill with only his mind to challenge him. The mother struggling to cover her mortgage each month would be thrilled to show up for work at 8:30 day after day.

When I was still teaching, I had a student who was born with a condition that severely impacted his development. While his body grew, his mind, heart, and muscles lagged behind him. We celebrated him standing, acknowledging, waving, while other students mastered walking, catching, high-fives. As other parents shared their challenges of getting their little ones to eat anything besides yogurt and graham crackers, his mother simple smiled. Her son had a feeding tube in his belly- there were no such struggles over what to eat in their house. He passed away last week, at the age of 6. As the tears came, I was struck by his mother's message, that he "gets to be whole in heaven". She instantly shifted my thoughts from the fact that we had to say goodbye to him, to the fact that I got to be his teacher for nearly 3 years.

I don't have to do anything. But I am so thankful for all the things I get to do in my life.

1 comment:

  1. I really like that! What a way to look at life! Love you -- Meg