While on the 10mile run with my Brother-In-Law over Thanksgiving week, I told him about Past Me, Future Me, and Now Me. Many times when I run I talk to both Past and Future Me. Its not always a fun conversation.
You see, as I run through my neighborhood, there are many looping streets that allow me to see where I’ve been and where I’m going. Its at those spots that I look ahead to see Future Me, almost done with the run I’m only half way through. He is usually angry at me. Mad that I’m taking so long. Upset that I haven’t pushed myself as hard as I could have for the first part of the run.
I agree with him. I’m not as far into the run as I should be. I haven’t given as much as I could – my body argued with my mind and I’ve allowed my body to win. But I look at Future Me and I know he is doing better than I am. I also can tell from the way he looks at me that he is struggling because I didn’t push myself harder. The harder I push myself now, the easier the run will be for Future Me.
Then I look back at Past Me. Having only just started his run, I can tell he is in good spirits. I can also see that he isn’t pushing himself as hard as he could. You know, I start to think to myself, if he had pushed a little harder, I wouldn’t be only half way done – I would be a lot closer to the end of this run. I would have better times too!
Look at him, I think to myself. He is just trotting along like there isn’t a lot of road ahead of him and every step he doesn’t take back there, I have to up here. Then I look back up to Future Me – he is almost done but he is upset at me and now I understand why. Its all Past Me’s fault. That guy is so lazy.
One time I actually flipped Past Me off because I was so upset at him – only to look up and see Future Me flipping me off. I don’t blame him, I was slowing down to look back at Past Me. I sped up after that.
Not All Bad
Its not all bad. Sometimes I look up and see Future Me smiling back, waving, encouraging. So I usually return the favor and look back at Past Me and thumbs up with a “You can do it!” I must say, Future Me usually looks thinner and happier than me, and Past Me struggles a little bit more on a run than I do. So I think to myself, “Past Me – keep fighting because it will get easier.”
Then I look ahead at Future Me and see that same encouragement – he is thinner, runs faster, looks happier. Makes me feel pretty good about my current efforts knowing Future Me has an easier time because of the work I’m doing right now. You Go Now Me! Good Job!