what lies before me

When I run, I break everything into thirds. If I am planning to go six miles, I focus only on the first two. Once I have made it that far, I focus on the next two. I know that once I cover those, I will be two-thirds of the way to my destination, I will have already gone twice as far as I have left to go, and then the last two seem easy.

On days when I struggle, I split just the segment of path directly before me into thirds. If I make it to that first tree, then I can make it to the next one, and then the distance to the last tree will feel like nothing. I have covered more miles than I ever thought possible by breaking them into thirds.

And if my life ends up covering a fairly standard number of years,
I am now in my middle third.

The first third was a bit of a struggle, there was so much to learn, to figure out, so many mistakes to make that caused sore muscles, injuries, time waiting to repair. Sometimes I just wanted to stop. Sit down. Give up. I hadn’t learned discipline. Or tenacity. Or patience. I hadn’t settled in for the long haul.

I am past that phase now, and glad of it. I am warmed up, I have my stride, there is a rhythm to my days and I move along at an even pace most of the time. I am on the straightaway and can take time to gaze around me. I am no longer worried about whether I can make it. I’m moving close to the halfway point.

And as I move on, further down this path, this path we call life
that we live and breathe and burn through so quickly, I wonder if the last third will be the easiest one, not downhill because that hurts my knees worse than anything, but leisurely, graceful, steady. The one where I feel that I could go on forever.

Well, okay, maybe not quite forever.

But at least just to that next tree.

9 Responses to “what lies before me”

  • Debi Says:

    beautifully said – a wonderful method. the idea of being on the straightaway feels calming, like i can catch a breath. of course, i am farther along than you and breathing harder, need that breath a bit more. perhaps i’ll just jog a bit for a while, maybe walk it. as long as i keep moving forward, keep my eye on that tree, well, that will be okay. right? 🙂

  • jill Says:

    I think I’d prefer to think of me still being in the first third! 😉

  • whollyjeanne Says:

    and here i encounter “middles” again. been pondering that of late, and of course with the law of attraction being what it is and all, i see “middles” seldom do i see middles referred to so poetically and enticingly, though.

  • Kathryn Dyche Dechairo Says:

    What a beautiful post, I love the concept of breaking things into thirds. I might just have to give that a try.

  • lisaschaos Says:

    Yep, I do the same thing! Everything seems easier broken down. If I want to diet, I concentrate on today only, the next day on that day and so on until I reach my goal. 🙂 You have such a way of putting my thoughts into words. lol

  • Kate Says:

    I love how you use the Rule of Thirds. I am going to do this. It seems like something totally suited to me. Thank you.
    I can’t run anymore and never thought I’d miss it as much as I do.

  • Kimberla Says:

    isn’t running a great metaphor for life? the more i run, the more i realize that it’s hard work, like life. but rewarding, like life’s experiences as well!

  • beth Says:

    your thirds are what i call my baby steps, with a few gigantic leaps forward and a few falls along the way….and a caught shoelace way too many times 🙂

    but it made me think about that when i walk, that it’s always based on what songs are on my ipod….speed/tempo etc…..and if two slow songs come on in a row, it’s a sign that i’m done for the morning 🙂

    did you know that in photography there is the rule of thirds, too….

  • Julie Daley Says:

    I love this way of looking at life. I’m in the middle, but nearing the last…of course, it all depends on how far i end up going, and who knows what that will be…

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