I live in
. Traffic and traffic jams are a way of life. All those who live here understand that painful experience of sitting in traffic. Rush hour can change a 20 minute travel time into an hour. An accident on the 405 can derail a day at the beach. It is something we here in LA live with day in and day out. Los Angeles
On Saturday morning, I went to my early more training run, - six miles of blood, sweat & tears. Okay, not true. It was six miles, it was tough, but I got through it. No blood. No tears. Just sweat. I cooled down and stretched a little before climbing into my car for what should be a 12-15 minute drive home. Then, as I pulled on to the 101 freeway, -- there it was, a parking lot of cars. I sat, and waited, and waited and waited. I made a few calls and answered some emails on my blackberry (that’s right, it’s illegal, but I did it anyway). I waited for over 40 minutes to go…1.3 miles. That is longer than it takes me to run 1.3 miles! Traffic cleared and shortly thereafter I arrived home to a wonderful afternoon with Justin & Oliver.
By yesterday my memories of the traffic jam had faded. After all, this is LA, and these things are a way of life. Then, I received the weekly email from my coach. She quoted a sign she had seen recently that said: “You are not stuck in traffic. You are traffic.” She used this to illustrate a message about perspective and how we are all a part of something larger. It was a useful and timely message, but it made me rethink my time in my traffic jam. I have a slightly different take-away in light of my current endeavor.
I was feeling a little stuck before I started training for this marathon. I wasn’t exercising regularly, I wasn’t eating properly, stress from my job was really getting to me. But just by starting to train I feel like my wheels are turning, and I am moving forward. We are each responsible, in our own way, every time we get stuck, whether it is because we chose to drive a particular road, or whether it is because we ourselves stopped. That means that we are also responsible for changing our direction.