Referring to the old Persian adage: “This too shall pass” I have to say that my 100 Days of Writing Challenge came to its eventual conclusion after 100 long days and about 30000 written words. This challenge has been quite an adventure that took me to different places, made me think and write about all sort of things, made me a bit more disciplined when it comes to writing, made me get out of my comfort zone because writing in English doesn’t come easy for me since it’s not my first language and not even my second language, it’s my third language and I’ve learned it mostly by myself. I will probably continue writing daily or almost daily because it became a habit by now, they say it takes only about three to four weeks of repeating a behavior in order for it to become a habit, well after 100 days of repetition you are pretty much guaranteed to have gained a new habit.
I discovered that setting a challenge and being determined to do it (and doing it) can make you more disciplined, creative, confident, inspired. The fact that you make your challenge public is also important because it adds a boost of motivation to do it, research shows that goals made publicly are more likely to get done. Challenges can be fun a good way to achieve things, after completing my two active challenges, this one and the Running a Marathon in 100 Days Challenge, I realize that I want to do more of these things and I’m now working at another challenge that is not public yet and it’s quite epic, the time constraint for this one being one year.
The things that I’ve learned after 100 days of writing are pretty much the same as the things that I’ve learned after 50 days of writing, check out my blog post on that.
So I finally managed to do a marathon. About three weeks earlier before the deadline, 26 of June. The summer is here and it’s getting hotter and hotter, hence my decision to do it as soon as possible to avoid the summer heat. It was an interesting road to this point, back in March when I started day 1 of this challenge and did my first run it was cold, there was ice and snow outside, the next day the snow started melting, there were puddles everywhere but I went for a run anyway, needles to say, I soaked my running shoes and my socks with water. ￼Since then I’ve run through cold, snow, ice, puddles of water, mud, rain and heat. And it seems like this journey took me through all the seasons and through more time than some seventy-something days.
My first marathon was hard, no doubt about it, when I started to train for it I had some legitimate doubts that I can finish it. More about my limitations in one of the posts that I’ve written. The last third bit of the marathon was the hardest because by then I developed blisters at both of my feet and they got increasingly painful. Hence, I had to walk most of the last twelve kilometers. My socks got soaking wet from all the perspiration and this in turn made my feet start to move against the shoes and all that friction caused some painful blisters on the soles of my feet.
The time? A little bit more than six hours. I estimated that it would take me about 5-6 hours to do it. If I hadn’t developed the blisters than I would have had a better time but time wasn’t really a preoccupation for me, the important thing was to finish the marathon.
The weather today was quite good, it was cloudy, this kept the temperature down, a few sporadic droplets of rain came down, around 11 AM the clouds began to scatter and this led to some increase in temperature, but all in all it was a pretty good day for running today.
At the beginning of this month I wrote about the Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), a term with a lot of sophisticated words used to describe a common feeling of tingling that starts from the top of the head and continues down the spine. We all know and experienced that feeling, I don’t think that there is a person that haven’t, but only few of us know the scientific term for it.
Where I’m trying to get is here: I’ve also experienced in the past, as a matter of fact not long ago, during a run a few days ago, and most probably will experience this sensation in the future. I don’t know exactly how it’s called, didn’t found out the scientific term for it yet, if there is one. I searched and didn’t found anything relevant, if you know what I’m talking about and know more details than I do, feel free to send a comment. I can only describe it: I feel this sensation only during hot days, usually summer, the scenario is this: it’s hot outside, I go outside for a walk or a run, I heat up, start sweating, start feeling hotter and hotter and then, suddenly, I feel a chill and feel like I’m cooling down – only that it seems like a fake cooling, I don’t think I actually cooling down.
From what I found, the explanation for this phenomenon could be this one: when you overheat the blood retreats from the extremities and your skin, the blood vessels constrict. When the warm blood starts retreating from the skin it causes the skin to “cool off’. This is what I’ve found so far, it might be a body feature designed by evolution to deal with heat. I just named it “summer chills”.
Went today for a little hiking on one of the hills outside the city I live in. On the way there I could not help but notice how the car traffic increased steadily in the past years. I don’t know exactly the statistics and the car ownership percentage, it’s just an observation. Another phenomenon that I observed is the steady increase in the average weight of the people in this country. There might be a correlation here, a lot of more polluting cars, less movement, more sedentary lives, less exercising and less hiking. Speaking of hiking, there are very few people hiking in the area where I usually go. Maybe it’s better that way, it’s a beautiful place and more people might be a nefarious factor for the area, I already witnessed nefarious human activity in the year during the past years.
Admiring the beauty of the nature, exercise, clean air, peace, tranquility, freedom, charging your batteries with energy and positive thoughts – a hiking in the woods is all about these things.
I also found and collected some elderflowers with the purpose of making a delicious elderflower cordial back at home.
Life is like a game of poker and living a good life is all about playing the cards that fate gives you to the best of your ability. It’s not about regrets and having no regrets. What does this means anyway? Doing everything you want? Well, you can’t do anything you want and you can’t have anything you want so of course that there will be regrets. There is no person alive or dead that lived a life without regrets. There is no person alive or dead that had in life all they ever wanted. Nobody’s given the best cards all the time. On the other hand, nobody’s given the worst cards all the time. We have to make do with the cards that we are dealt and we have to make lemonade from those lemons that are thrown our way and to make strawberry smoothies from those strawberries that are thrown our way.
Seeing the good in the bad things that happen to us is a life well lived. Seeing the bad in the good things that happen to us is a wasted life. I don’t want to be able to say “I have no regrets” in my last years of existence, I want to be able to say “I lived the best possible life with the things that I’ve got”. I have many dreams and I want many things, smaller or bigger, but I have to internalize the fact that I will never have some of them. I want to find happiness and joy in the small things in life, to always remain curious and enthusiastic about the world around me, to have passion, to be interested in discovery and exploration, to experience the least amount of idle time as possible. I might not achieve all the things in life that I want and I might have regrets but I will certainly consider my life well spent knowing that I managed to squeeze out the flavor of life with the things that I’ve been given and that I wasted no time. That would be, for me, a life well lived.