Some days you just have to keep going. That is what I told myself as I hit mile 2 of my 3.1 mile loop I have run many times before.

So what did I end up doing? Well, I just added on another 3.1 mile loop in a completely different direction in order to just keep moving along.

I had originally planned to do a longer run today so I set my alarm really early to ensure I would have enough time to get it done. When the alarm went off I was just too comfortable laying in bed that I stayed there for a really long time. Finally, after a lot of time ticked by I told myself I had wasted enough time laying around and I should get outside to run. However, I figured I only had time for 3.1 mile route instead of the one I was planning on doing.

Looking at the sunrise after a great long run (December 2019, Eden Prairie)

Being a little bummed about not doing what I had planned, I was glad that I got outside to do something instead of skipping it altogether, which was also on my mind. I didn’t feel great running at first either so I knew just sticking to an easier route was a good plan so then I could get home and have some time before I rushed off to work. However, as I looked at my watch and realized I was at about 2 miles into my run and approaching my house I thought why not just continue and run another 3.1 mile loop that goes a different direction.

So that is just what I did and I continued on a different route.

“It’s not so much that I began to run, but that I continued”

Hal Higdon

You might be wondering why I shared the story above with you but stick with me and read on :)

I was glad to have extended my total run to the full 6.2 miles I had planned to run the night before. Even though I took a completely different route than planning, I ultimately achieved the same goal I set out to accomplish.

Reflection on Paths and Moving Forward

As I reflected on that driving to work today I realized a lot of people (me included) focus too much about what path we planned to be on in order to reach our end goal. However, by being so focused on the current path we could be losing sight of what we really want as an end goal. In fact, we could miss a turn that might take us off the current route but still headed in the right direction overall.

This has happened to me quite a few times most specifically in careers or jobs. I know what I would like to be doing down the road from now or how that might look. However, sometimes I get so stuck in a role (path) thinking it will eventually get me there as I had originally planned. Then another year goes by and I realize I am no closer to where I would like to end up and in reality, I might be further behind or off track. If only I would have stopped ignoring other interesting routes that would probably lead me to the same destination as my goal.

Ultimately, I am beginning to learn that taking small steps and keeping the course is a good thing in life as long as you continue to move forward. However, you should make sure you are aware of your surroundings and make sure you aren’t just following a path because that was your original plan. You also need to make sure you are keeping your head up and making sure you aren’t so focused on the trail in front of you that you might be passing up other opportunities.