Every Saturday, I do my "long run." It's typically 8-10 miles or more. I get up early before the sun rises, throw on the headphones and set out. For me, this is one of the biggest parts of my weekly routine that helps me to keep performing at a high level. It's not just the exercise, but it is also the peace and serenity of the run, watching the sun rise, clearing my head, feeling the stress dissipate, and also some great thinking time. Some of my greatest breakthroughs come to me in these times of solitude and focus. It also feels great to complete a long run!
Each week, as I run, after about the 4 mile mark, when my mind has finally stopped going a million miles an hour and clears everything out, I ask myself questions. I ask things like "Can I be doing things differently to succeed across my businesses? Are there lessons I need to take from the success, failures, or experiences over the last week? Am I being the best man I can be? And so on.
Recently, I was taught a pretty powerful lesson- by a dead raccoon. Stick with me. I know it sounds weird, but I promise it will all make sense.
In my 10 mile routine, I have a section of about 2 miles in which I run twice. It's a beautiful area and it has just the right amount of hills to give me the work on my legs, so I run it twice. As I was running the first leg of it recently, I came over one of the little hills and saw a raccoon that had been hit in the middle of the road. Now, it was no different than any other roadkill everyone sees all the time, but for some reason a voice inside my head said, "you should move that thing to the side of the road."
It's funny because I actually argued with myself in my head saying back "Why? Roadkill happens all the time." "But, someone is going to come over that hill and not see it, hit it, maybe mess up their car, etc." my mind said back. As I kept jogging, this funny back and forth played out in my head until I got to my turnaround where I finally gave in and said, "OK. When I get back to it, I'll find a large stick or something and push it off the road."
Now, keep in my mind this is early AM. The sun is just coming up. No one is out. I barely see a car or two during these runs and that is one of the reasons I love them - for a brief moment it seems I have the whole world to myself.
But, as I was getting close to the now infamous dead raccoon. I could hear a car coming from behind me and just as I heard that, I saw car coming toward me. Really? I knew what was about to happen. Just as I got parallel with the raccoon in the road, the one car went to pass me and forced the other car to pass in a way that it made it score a direct hit on the raccoon...it obliterated that thing. I watched in a sense of horror and sorry, humor, as I knew the look of utter shock, grossness, and disbelief that hit my face had to be funny to see as I jumped into the woods next to the road to avoid the splatter.
Let's just say that there really was nothing left to move after that. And thankfully, I avoided getting splattered on by jumping in the woods. I started jogging again and the lesson began to sink in. Here it is.
When you see a way to help someone or something in need or see the chance to do the right thing, don't hesitate. Don't procrastinate - even for a few minutes. Because you never know what type of mess can happen if do! On the flipside, you may just be able to prevent a mess or unfortunate incident.
I think a lot of people have metaphorical "dead raccoons" or instances in their life like this where they know they need to do something and act in the moment, but they hesitate, like I did, and miss their window of opportunity. I could have stopped for 30 seconds and moved the raccoon. As I thought about it, I was sort of lucky. Thankfully, when the two cars passed, something more dangerous didn't happen like one swerving at the last minute and causing an accident, maybe even hitting me as I was right there. They were both doing about 40-45 miles an hour.
As I mentioned, I hardly ever see cars on the road at this time of the morning, let alone two passing me at the same time. You never know where you will learn a lesson or how it will be taught to you. But I learned this one and I will make sure to "move my dead raccoons" as I soon as they come up in life in the future!