Thursday, April 5, 2007

Preparation and Flexibility

Preparation and Flexibility

It was a cold Nebraska morning. The temperature was only about twenty degrees and the wind was still blowing from the north.

Christy and I ran a two mile warm-up in about 16 minutes with Curt and Maureen. Christy and I continued with 5 miles of faster running. The goal was to run 10 x 400 at 5:40 to 6:00 per mile (1:25 to 1:30) followed by a 400 meter recovery run at 7:00 per mile (1:45). Our total time for 5 miles was 31:59. The faster 400s were 1:24, 1:23, 1:23, 1:26, 1:23, 1:26, 1:23, 1:24, 1:25, and 1:26. The recovery jogs were 1:43, 1:45, 1:46, 1:47, 1:52, 1:49, 1:45, 1:50, 1:50, and 1:43. We cooled-down with two miles in 14:40.

Dressing for running in cold weather is always tricky. As we were warming-up, it was noticeably cold. Thirty minutes into the workout we were both overheating. A simple rule exists for dressing for running in cold weather: wear layers. In other words, be prepared and flexible. Today, I took off my gloves and hat and was getting ready to lose my jacket.

The same truth works in life. That is: be prepared and flexible. As I walked out the door, I was warm enough. I was also flexible enough to take off some clothes when things heated up. That is quite simple in running; not quite as simple in life.

Some are prepared. Some are flexible. Some are neither prepared nor flexible. Some are both prepared and flexible.

We can prepare for much of life. Work, retirement, and personal organization are a few things that come to mind. Some friends of ours have a ten-year plan for their life. They are prepared for the future. School is preparation. So is prayer, Bible study, discipline, planning, learning, listening, resting, and about a million other things.

But, you know as I know, that life sometimes throws a 110 mile-per-hour curve ball that can sink like cement in water. As hard as we prepare for life, we will find ourselves at times totally unprepared. People get sick. Terrorists attack. Doors close. The unforeseeable happens. Flexibility now supersedes preparation.

It is good to be prepared. It is good to be flexible. Blessed is the person who is both prepared and flexible.

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