What would you do if you had no fear? Several days ago, my good friend and I were talking about regrets and aging, and we posed this question to each other. Before I even thought or consciously considered the question, I blurted out “I want to run!” It was like I bypassed my brain, but something within me answered anyway. I knew I wanted to run physically,and run spiritually.
When I shared this story with my therapist she asked me what I wanted to run away from, and I asserted that I was not running away, I was running towards. She asked”What or where are you running towards?” Well I thought 3 miles, 5 days a week was a good answer. Physically I wanted to feel strong and I have always loved the rhythm of running. My thoughts were clearer when my legs were moving me along and I was breathing hard.
I ran for many years, but I got “old” and I quit, sure my running days were behind me. I told everyone I used to run and that I used be in great shape. A life of “used to’s” I now realize just makes me a “has been”. So slowly I am running and adding distance or time in small increments. I feel good and pay attention to my body ,and I do feel stronger.
In the spiritual realm where I look for purpose and meaning, it’s much harder for me to know what it is I am running towards. At 63, I sense that time is not on my side. Being famous and saving the world is probably not going to happen for me, no matter how fast I run, or walk or crawl. Regret is most painful when it is about roads not taken. Why didn’t I take that trip, or go to medical school, or hang onto my dreams? Ruminating on regrets is a waste of my time, it’s like asking for a do-over when the time for that is long past.
I have to start where I am today, and keep moving, and keep listening to my soul, and know that I can’t let fear stop me. Finally, I really get what FDR said: “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.” I won’t allow fear to shrink my life and spirit. No fear! Who knows what I might run into?