On a run the other day I was thinking about all the good people in my life. My wife, kids, extended family. Many great people exist in my life and I’m thankful for all of them. There is however, one asshole. Me.
Not the person I am now, but the person I was in January. That guy was a selfish asshole.
While laboring through an easy three mile run I realized who this guy was. The run was hard because the January Me forgot to run. Actually, he didn’t forget to run, he selfishly chose not to run. He chose to sit on the couch and eat cake. He didn’t even have the courtesy to just do a few push-ups or squats.
That guy was selfish, but what’s done is done. Someone once said that we turn out the average of our five closest friends, and while my past self isn’t a friend – at least not the way he acted – he’s still an influence and something to learn from. I learned that he was acting like a jerk, but that I might be too. My May self could look at my March self and say, “come on man, couldn’t you have at least run/wrote/or worked some more?”
I know that this summer I will have registered for a 5K race. I will have paid the registration fee to support a cause, and showed up smiling, and happy. I know that I’ll warm up lightly at first and I know that about twenty minutes before the starting gun I’ll under go a change. I know that a mental switch goes on (or off) and I turn into a different version of myself. I know I’ll start to think about times, how fast I can be, who I can run with or run down. I know these things will happen because they happen every time.
Once the race starts I’ll be off in a pack, closer to the front than back. Within that pack someone will accelerate and I’ll want to go with them, to run and chase and as the line goes from Chariots of Fire, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” And as we go I’ll think about the things I should have been doing in January and March. I’ll think that I should have ran more miles, lifted more weights, sat on the couch less.
That guy should have been less of an asshole, but I can’t dwell on his assholeness any more than someone who cuts me off in traffic or lies to me. Those moments are gone, never to come again. What I can do is not be an today. That means to the people I meet today, but also to my future self.