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And Now For Something Completely Different

Some thoughts outside of the 24-hour news cycle of COVID-19… kind of.

We all reach a time in our lives when we decide it’s time to experience and learn new things. When I was young adult, I thought it amusing that one day my parents suddenly decided it was time to learn to dance. They were NOT dancers, and never became dancers; but they took dance lessons and for many years they enjoyed the process of learning and experiencing something new.

A number of years ago, I saw a bumper sticker on a car that made me laugh. It had become popular for runners to put bumper stickers on their car, highlighting the distance they had just conquered… I’m sure you’ve seen them, “3.1”, “13.1”, “26.2”. My favorite bumper sticker was the one that read, “0.0 Running Sucks!” I was not a runner. But not long after, partly due to wanting to be healthier, after living probably more than half my life in not so healthy ways, I started to run — really for the first time in my life.

During the first few months… well, probably longer, I thought the bumper sticker was right; Running Sucks! But I kept running. At first only 2-3 times per week, for short distances. Then I entered my first 5K. I told myself I was just doing it for fun, didn’t care about the time it took me to finish. On race day, there were thousands of “runners” preparing to participate; and I was swept up with a sense of competition and wanting to do well. To my surprise, I beat the time I “secretly” set as my goal — old habits die hard, and I’m a goal-setter by nature. In the following year, I ran in more than 10 5K runs, and continue to run, now five days a week.

I almost hate to admit it, but I kind of like to run. I never thought I would say those words… My parents were right, it is never too late to learn and experience new things. You never know what new experiences can add a little joy to your life. We tend to focus on our routines and become consumed with the difficult and hard things in our lives; and we should address these things. But don’t let them keep you from searching for new experiences. Keep learning. Keep creating. Keep experiencing. I guess it is never too late to find a new passion. You just have to keep looking and stay curious.

Kevin Lauer, PhD

Clinical Assessment Advisor–National Accounts

September 22, 2020

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