Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Overcoming Inertia

When Isaac Newton wrote about the Laws of Motion, he was thinking of forces that move our physical world. One law of motion he talked about was the principle of inertia. It's the tendency of an object to stay at rest or in motion unless an external force acts upon it. The use of a seat belt in a moving vehicle is a practical application of the principle of inertia.

Inertia also has another meaning in the human world. Sad to say, I'm currently a good example of being in an inert condition. I've been inactive from running for the past two months. I sit on the couch watching TV for hours, go to bed late, and eat late night snacks. They aren't really the hardest things in the world to do; but, who'd want to do something else?

There lies the problem with inertia. It's a disposition to stay unchanged.

Overcoming inertia in people's ways is not that simple. During this time when I was attached to the couch, I came to realize there is no amount of external force to overcome human inertia. The force has to come from within.

It's called willpower. It's that inner strength to take action in the face of difficulties and resist the temptation to take the easy way out. A strong willpower is deeply anchored in our faith in God. And we strengthen our willpower by striving to live a life of prayer. Praying daily, I am mustering my willpower to move me out of the couch and hit the road again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Courage to Keep Going

Are you kidding me? I gained weight. I feel slow and out of shape. And worse, I feel alone.

Gaining 15 lbs is no joke; but it's a piece of cake, quite literally. I put it on easily over a period of 2 months. I ran again recently and it felt like carrying two Dell 15-inch laptops in a backpack. I could feel the extra weight pounding along with me.

I also dropped 15% in my age graded running score. Age graded score lets you compare your race times to the standard for your race age and gender. A 15% drop is like getting a grade from a B to a C+. Timewise, my 5k slowed down by 7 minutes.

It's bad enough to realize these figures about me; let alone missing my wife. I continue to contend with my grief over her passing. It's been 15 months; though it's getting better, the intensity still fluctuates. The hardest part is dealing with the aloneness.

I've always shared my running life with my wife. Even when she got too sick to run with me, I kept going because she was still around to appreciate my running highs as well as my lows. Now that she's gone, to the extent that it was true for me, I feel I have no one to share my running experience with any longer.

In a sense, I am grieving over my wife's loss and my decline in running.

But somehow I know that I can overcome my trials. Writing this post after 4 weeks of absence is a first step; and running for a few miles the past few days has been a promising start. I want to thank those of you who have emailed me or posted their support here and on Facebook. Your words of encouragement have been profoundly helpful.

Through all this events, however, my praying has continued. I still receive your prayer intentions and keep them in my heart. I prayed harder for myself, too, especially for an increase in faith and the courage to keep going.