Happiness is…

Happiness is - blog post by Roshan James (Roshan Grossman)

Artwork: Phaitoon Sutunyawatchai

Over the past couple of months, I’ve gotten back into running as a way to clear my mind and get some much-needed cardiovascular exercise. At the outset, I was chugging along at a slow and easy pace that was both mentally and physically achievable, with some walking peppered in for even more ease of experience. Over the course of four weeks, I managed to work up to a more moderate pace and was able to run a full 5K in 35 minutes without stopping…and it felt fantastic!

Last Sunday, I decided that it was time to push the envelope a little more and I gave myself a goal of running 5K in under 30 minutes. I quickened my pace ever so slightly and, by about the half-way point, I knew that I had already shaved off more than 5 minutes from my previous 35-minutes. Before I even finished, I knew that I was going to achieve my goal….as long as I kept up my pace.

This last part was critical. As I started to consider my pace, my time at that point and where I was along my route, the over-indulgent part of my psyche piped up and started to rationalize why I could slow down and go back to a more leisurely jogging pace: “Well, I know I’m going to meet my goal as it is….so that’s pretty much as good as getting there, right? Also, just the fact that I’m out running should count for something…..right??”

This little voice is such a bugger. It’s the one that holds me back from following through on so many ideas…but I often don’t even realize it’s there. It’s not always loud or clear. But the more I recognize its sound, the better I can discern when it’s speaking and side-step the restraining influence it has. Maybe because running gives me a clearer perspective, or maybe it spoke a little too loudly this time, but I heard it and recognized it for what it is – a stumbling block of my own devising. It comes from the part of my subconscious that is scared to move on and change – the part of me that is hesitant to set higher goals because that means we actually need to push and work harder…. *gasp*

It would be so easy to become complacent…except that the taste, smell and feel of achieving a goal – whether in running or life in general – is addictive and intoxicating. While a good nap is sometimes in order, I’ve discovered that I am much happier and fulfilled – not to mention healthier – after a really great run that pushes me beyond my old limits and unveils the potential for even more.


  1. alphaavant says:

    I run as well and I can relate to your post! Good job, keep it up.

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