My cell stop watch read 01:10:58. We completed our five mile walk in that time. For us, this is very good considering it used to take us about 01:20:00.
Whip Thy Self, Love the Pain
This week I began to tell myself to move my ass faster every single time I felt my self slacking. Not once in a while – every. single. time. I never did this before. I used to slack 1/4, perhaps even 1/2 a mile before prodding myself. Like Oh yeah, I am doing this for my health.
It is scary to think that urgency is not simply there in this instance. It must be created and then it must be conjured when needed. Sure, urgency is instinctive when one encounters the tatted up guy running full speed at you on a dark lonely street swinging a bolo knife over his head, screaming something about death to all that wear a man-purse. No need to tell myself to pick up the pace at that point.
With guitar I have done something like this. I have a rule that there must NEVER be an ugly note. They can be off beat, a bit too loud or soft, fast or slow, but they must be beautiful having an agreeable timbre, no exceptions. Each time I hear ugliness, I stop right then, back up and fix it whether it be Bach, a study, a scale, even tuning the freakin’ instrument. I have made beauty on the guitar an urgent matter. And that too had to be created. It did not exist before I made it up. Having perfectly shaped and buffed nails on the plucking hand is absolutely critical.
Double the Insanity
Now imagine the power of a couple with a mutual sense of urgency. For instance, Tammy pushes the pace at the beginning of the walk when I need it and I push at the end when she does. We made our walk and our coffee time urgent matters. They must happen each day with very few exceptions that can be classified as emergencies, which by definition are rare. They are the first two items of each day, even on vacation, even on holidays, even when it is 80 degrees upon waking and we sweat before we leave the house, even when my toe nail hurts or there’s a little blister on my heal, even when I eat my banana too fast and have gas.
They are simply that important to us. Period.
And what a delight to have eliminated deliberation over whether we will be taking a walk and talking over coffee on any given day. We wake knowing that each day will have an auspicious start. That is mighty powerful. Interrupting these daily activities can make usually amiable people like us unbearable and no one wants that, do they?
Yes, we obsess about a few items. But words like urgent and obsess have been hijacked by pop-psychology, positive thinkers and those who’d scoff at turning the power of discipline and focus on themselves. These incredibly fruitful habits did not not exist before we created them and made them an urgent matter.
Reasonable: No Friend to Urgent
Perhaps someday we’ll get five miles down to 01:00:00. Which will of course mean that we hire the guy with bolo knife to join us on our walks, but if that’s what it takes… It may be completely unreasonable to create urgency, but being reasonable about your passions and other good habits is completely unreasonable.
The next day the stop watch read 01:10:03. And – Holy Crap! 01:08:45 on 1.26.2013 and again on 2.8.2013,