Would it surprise you to know that I’m impatient, often distracted, and want instant gratification? Can anyone relate? ; )
These traits are a natural part of who I am. However, I read something today that made me take pause. An article I stumbled upon, on a functional fitness studio’s website, referenced “3 P’s”. Apparently, it was in response to a question Michael Pollan, famous author and activist, was asked about how someone can improve their cooking skills. He replied:
PATIENCE * PRESENCE * PRACTICE
Immediately my thoughts turned to running and how I could take the essence of his simple message and utilize it for the sake of becoming a better runner. These are the key points I’d like to apply to my own training and thought I’d share them with you.
Patience: long-term versus short-term.
I think we need both short-term and long-term goals, and tangible markers to make sure we are meeting them. I tend to get in a rush to meet a long-term goal, overlooking the short-term goals that are going to make me stronger, more efficient, etc. By definition, patience is a state of endurance and persevering when challenged. How does that not speak to running? Patience, no matter the goal, will lead to greater satisfaction and, I believe, a better outcome in the long run. (No pun intended!)
Presence: mindful and focused.
While running this afternoon I dang near rolled my ankle. The pavement was uneven and there was some traffic, and, well, I wasn’t really paying very close attention to the ground beneath my feet. It is not uncommon, and even welcomed, to “check out” so to speak, on a run. We get lost in thought instead of being mindful of our form. We engage in conversation perhaps losing focus on our surroundings. We distract ourselves with games (or is that just me?) to pass time instead of being aware of how our bodies are reacting to the run. Being present when we run can connect us deeper to our reason for running and potentially bring a greater sense of safety and comfort.
Practice: repetition for improvement.
The first time, and only time, I went snowboarding, I thought I was going to be great at it. I was fit, had good balance, understood the dynamics of it, and was eager to try. While I had a ton of fun, I was not good at it and a little disappointed because I did not experience that instant gratification that I desired. The vision I had of myself zipping down the mountain did not happen. I did realize thought that I could be good at it if I had the opportunity to do it repeatedly. You know? Practice a little more. Doing things over and over is what makes us better. Repetition of any activity will bring improvement.
I think it speaks for itself, but the 3 P’s can be applied to practically every area of our lives!