No Run Will Be Sacrificed In This Semester

There have been two full weeks of school. We have played lots of games, had a quiz. A new student joined Wednesday’s class so the quiz was deferred to this week. We didn’t know there would be a quiz in Thursday’s class but he surprised us. The quiz was on the syllabus. I think we all flunked.

imageOur first group hike is Wednesday. We were told to be prepared with the correct equipment.

The Backpacker’s Field Manual says this includes 12 Essential items: a map, compass (and knowledge of how to use one), extra clothes, extra food, pocket knife, first aid kit, rain gear, two quarts of water, matches or lighter, a candle or fire starter, flashlight/headlamp and extra batteries, sunglasses/sunscreen.

The purpose of the hike is not only to condition us for walking five miles but to walk five miles with 15% of our body weight in our backpack. Reluctantly, I weighed myself. I must find 16 pounds of stuff to carry in my backpack.

Each of us were told to volunteer to lead a game for Thursday’s class. Is that still considered volunteering? My name was written next to January 30. Last week Stefan and Jonathan led the games. We played one game outside and the other in the gym. It was the game in the gym that consisted of us snorting at each other. The first person to laugh when being snorted at was eliminated. In spite of how ridiculous this was, I didn’t laugh and ended up snorting at my teacher for the final round. Is this really school?

There are two more chapters to read before Thursday’s quiz and a paper to write on a leader we admire. Every day last week I got up at 5:30am to study before coffee. Monday afternoon was spent studying. More studying during lunch and instead of a nap on Tuesday.


A schedule was organized for the entire week – hour by hour to be sure everything could still be done. Time was allocated for laundry, cleaning house, running and getting dressed. I recited the list of 12 Essentials on the drive to Wing Chun class on Tuesday and reviewed the Wing Chun form in my head while driving to school on Wednesday. Not one moment was wasted.

The friendly advice I have been given most often regarding my newly filled calendar is that maybe I will need to sacrifice running this semester. Some people broached the topic gingerly while others blurted it out with all the bluntness it deserved. I nodded contemplatively, suggesting this might actually become necessary. Inside I screamed, “Never will I sacrifice a run.”

The truth is, when your schedule is full it is exactly the thing you should not sacrifice that usually gives. Exercise is the easy thing to eliminate when life is busy. It’s easy to eliminate date night with your spouse when the kids require so much energy or, to give up time with the kids when the career reaches its peak.

My run was barely half over yesterday when I found myself thinking, “This is taking too much time. I don’t have time for this today.” Life was distracting me.

Recently, I asked Master Sifu if he still meditates. He told me that while it’s important to practice clearing the mind, he feels it is equally important to spend time focused on one thing….to allow the mind to concentrate on just one thing.

This seems to be good advice for my life at the moment. If it has been determined some thing is important enough to be in my life, then it is important enough to allow myself the time to focus on each and every thing.

No run will be sacrificed in this semester….not yet anyway.