My good friend Kate Martini Freeman started a website about a month ago called “Instead I Choose.” The concept of the site is to have the users post experiences of any kind where they made a choice between a negative and a positive. The concept of the site, as well as Kate’s spirit (and I don’t mean her and Jimmy’s dog named Spirit), has continued to help me down the path of positive thinking and positive choices. I was in a potentially negative environment all day yesterday–it lasted 12 hours, so I do mean all-day. I could have easily let that environment get to me, but I made the decision to refocus–this is something I learned how to do in once of my favorite classes at USC Marshall during my MBA.
Professor Joe Priester, taught a creativity in business class; but the class focused on readjusting mindsets, taking us out of our comfort zone, and most importantly re-focusing. I can honestly say that Professor Priester changed my entire attitude towards life and that my running family with the SoCal Coyotes have continued to help me grow as a positive person.
So after missing two days of running–one by choice as recovery and one by work–the plan was to do a 10-mile run today on the beach with 5 miles of tempo. I know I am not fully recovered from my two most recent races–AR 50 and Ragnar SoCal Ultra Relay. I could feel my quads were not 100% going in. And most importantly I could hear those negative voices in my head that make choices seem so easy–GIVE UP; JUST JOG IT IN; IT WILL BE A LOT EASIER. Instead I Chose a different way!
This topic also leads me to the conversation of Free Will. Sam Harris wrote a good book on “Free Will” that is short and an easy read. I agree with the premise of the book that to the scientific extent that there is no free will–but that does not mean we cannot make choices. Our choices are determined by our background. So if I did not go to business school or I did not take Joe Priester’s creativity class, I would not have the background in my mind to have the additional choice to dig deep. This is only briefly touching on the surface of the book and interpreting what Sam Harris meant by the broad statement of no free will, but I will leave it at this for now.