Distance: 4.53 miles Time: 42’38” (PB 38’ 28”)
When you are running the horizon is both your enemy and your friend.
- It is your friend by;
- keeping you focussed,
- keeping you headed in the right direction,
- keeping you motivated and ‘locked on’ to the target
- you can psychologically help ‘pull’ yourself forwards by fixing your attention on a particular spot and keeping it in view, you break the task into ‘bite-sized’ pieces.
It is your enemy by;
- dangerously taking your attention away from where you are putting your feet, step by step; you can easily miss your footing and stumble,
- overwhelming you with the enormity of the distance still to run,
- preventing you from being fully present where you are now, from appreciating the place you are actually running through, as opposed to the destination.
It strikes me that this dual aspect of the long view to the horizon is true spiritually too.
I think this is why the liturgical year includes two 40 day periods – Lent and Advent – when we are encouraged to take the long view on our spiritual life and journey.
Stopping, lifting our heads to the horizon, helps us to make sure that we are still on track. It gives us space to ask ourselves questions about our spiritual journey.
Have our goals shifted? If so this a positive and chosen change of direction or have circumstances, or poor choices, knocked us off track?
Can we look back, take a rear-wards view and see how much progress we have made? Can we celebrate that, give thanks for it?
Can we use this time to re-calibrate our spiritual compass, to re-lock on the target, to correct our course, to affirm our true goal?
However, we cannot live with just the horizon view. In the nity, gritty day to day we need to be watching where we are putting our feet.
We need to be fully present to where we are now, and not get so fixated on the destination that we stop enjoying the journey.
We need the encouragement of seeing that day by day we are making small steps forward and not get intimated or hopeless by a constant sense of how far we still have to go.
The Horizon. It is both our Enemy and our Friend.