GLOSS Issue 20 FEB 2015 - Page 82

When was the last time you did something for the first time? When it’s your turn, the cultural instinct is to launch the safe balloon, to keep your head down and create a predictable response. To play a greatest hit, not something new and dangerous. And that’s a shame. It’s the opportunity to dance with your fear, to look people in the eye and to do work that matters. John Bingham is the father of the Slow Running movement. He doesn’t win races, but he enters them. He doesn’t train through the pain or seek to diminish those who might be slower than he is. He has embraced the freedom (at middle age) to become an athlete. It’s your turn to write a blog post, call an old friend, start a podcast. It’s your turn to say thank you, to apologize, to ask a difficult question. It’s your turn to help a competitor, to find value where it’s been overlooked, to teach someone who is waiting to be taught. His motto is that he had the courage to start. There are countless reasons not to do this. Practical, time-based, financially prudent reasons to avoid just about all the things you’re avoiding. ‘Courage’ ought to be reserved for overcoming real risk, for doing something dangerous. Making a choice about the story we tell ourselves doesn’t take courage. It merely requires we see what’s going on and make a choice. But the opportunity is profound. John got it slightly wrong. It’s not that he has the courage to start, because no courage is required to run around the block. No, the miracle is that he started. ”The miracle isn’t that I finished . The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” He began, one foot, the other foot, started. He was aware enough to see that he, like just about every healthy person his age, was capable of running around the block, and his anticipation of running, even a block, had transformed into anxiety and into fear and into “I have no choice, I’m stuck here.” John ended that cycle. John’s transformation was from believing that he wasn’t the sort of person who could run a block into realizing that there are only choices, not predestined sorts of people. It’s merely a choice. It’s all a choice. This extract has been reformatted and reproduced exclusively for LBDGroup and