I knew right when it happened...the tiny pebble, a touch bigger than a grain of sand, made its way past my shoe and into my sock on my run at the Battlefield this morning.
I ignored it at first but it moved slightly as I took each step, irritating me. I told my friends to go ahead while I quickly reached into my sock and found the little guy. My little problem was solved...just like that.
Moments later, another pebble snuck its way into my sock. I really wasn't interested in stopping again, I figured it would make its way to a section of my sock that didn't bother me. So I ran with that irritating little pebble for a few more miles, feeling it rubbing against my ankle.
I then remembered a 20 mile race I ran with a friend a few years ago. We ran separately but passed each other a few times during the race. At one point of the race, waving at one another as we passed, she said, "There is something in my shoe...it's irritating me." I said, "Stop and find out what it is." And then we passed and I didn't see her again until the end of the race.
At the end, we met up to discuss our individual races. She told me she needed to take a look at the bottom of her foot. It had bothered her the entire race but she didn't want to take the time to remove the irritant. She sat down and pulled her shoe off. Her sock was covered in blood and she had a blister that covered the bottom of her entire foot. Seconds after removing her sock, a small pebble fell to the ground.
After recalling that memory, I told my running buddy I needed to actually sit down and get the pebble out of my sock. It then realized why these pebbles kept getting involved in my run. My shoelace had loosened and was allowing debris from our trail run to get into my shoe and sock. After only a few miles of running with this tiny pebble, my ankle was actually a little red. I can only imagine the outcome if I would have ignored the small irritation I was experiencing and let it cause a larger problem in the long run.
We all have little "irritating" pebbles make their way into our lives. If we chose to ignore them, they can make what may seem a small problem and it can become something that requires much more attention.
My amazing friend Vanessa has a pebble in her life right now...she is fighting breast cancer. She is the epitome of health. She eats right, she exercises... and she lives the lifestyle she is passionate about. Through months of intense chemo, it didn't take her long to know what to do with her pebble. A busy woman in the community, active, a thriving business...Vanessa stopped and removed a pebble. She surrounded herself with her dear family, cherished friends and held them close. During her own struggles, she spent time with others in need, inspiring them. She knew to let less important things go...and took hold of those things that needed her attention...those things that mattered most.
And although that pebble was there, she stopped, removed it and runs on...
(after our 10 mile run this morning...and...Vanessa is running Boston in April!)
To learn more about Vanessa's Healthy Lifestyle go here!
Sometimes we need to get rid of those outside influences that tend to clutter our lives. I have shows that can go, web surfing that can be left at bay, times I should say "no"...we all do.
But don't wait...it causes a lot more pain if you run with that pebble for too long.