Day 272 in Beijing: Air Quality, Workouts, and Half Marathons.

Just after my 4.1 mile run.  A beautiful day!

Just after my 6.59 kilometer run today. A beautiful day!

Well, I’ve decided it is time to set a new goal.

I’ve achieved being vegetarian since New Year’s Day.

I’ve achieved in not making political statements since New Year’s Day.

I’ve achieved in not making comments about other people’s beliefs since New Year’s Day.

How has this changed my life?

For the better.

Actually, for the best.

I’ve let go of things tend to cause division and upset and have figured out how to connect more deeply with the people that matter to me.

This has also allowed me to let go of the idea that my ideas are more correct, or valid, than others.

I have to listen much more deeply to the person who is speaking without planning what I will say in response to them.

It is acceptance of the place, time and space I am in with them.

This may seem like a strange segue to working out but it does make sense.

The air quality in Beijing is well known around the world for being horrible.

Strangely enough, there are many cities, outside of China, that are much worse but don’t seem to the as much play in the Western Media.  You can decide why this is and who benefits from this style of information.

I’d have to say that it isn’t nearly as bad as the media makes it out to be and, other than about 2 weeks this year, I haven’t really noticed it that much.

I’ve decided, that since the air quality seems reasonably decent, that I want to tackle a half marathon for my goal this year.

After I received my license to be a Marriage and Family Therapist, I decided to do one anxiety provoking event per year to help me understand, and empathize, with my clients that will trust me to help them overcome their anxiety.

My first year I went skydiving.

One year I wore 5 inch high heeled women’s shoes in a store in San Francisco.  This may sound strange but part of the exposure therapy technique I was learning was to do something that many people would find anxiety provoking.  I also asked to try on a dress.  The staff was actually very excited and happy about it and thought it would be cool.  I did live in San Francisco at the time so that may be one of the reasons that the attendants were so open-minded and fun.  By the way, I rocked those 5 inch heels and looked good!  A couple walked in and saw me and said, “You should get taper jeans to work with those shoes.  It would make you look even better.”  I consider it a rather impressive debut of me and my 5 inch heels.

That being said, I am amazed by anyone that can wear heels for an extended time.  I wore them for 5 minutes and I have a very slight hint of what they would do to my back, knees, and feet.

But I digress.

Last year I went swimming with sharks in the ocean.

I also moved to China without any real planning or idea of what I was getting into.

As Robert Frost wrote, “The best way out is always through.”

I tend to agree since the anxiety that we feel is actually just a lie our mind tells us and when we face it, it tends to disappear and be easily defeated.

I know this because I test it on myself and on my clients.

They always defeat it and are able to prove the little lies in their minds to be false.

I’ve decided that I will do a half marathon this year in Beijing to test myself.

This may not be as anxiety provoking as the other events I’ve tried but it is up there in regards to feeling like it will be difficult, how will I do, and will I do it well enough for my own ego.

I tend to be a pretty hard judge of myself and my workouts and I like to see progress.

This has actually been a downfall of mine in the past and that is part of the change I plan to introduce to my workouts.

I will continue to lift 3 days a week and run 3 days a week.

I’ve looked at decent half marathon plans and will download an app to help me keep track of them on my phone.

Planning is very important in reaching goals and I will do just that.

So, I’ll keep posting updates of my workouts and maybe pictures of how my body has changed in the upcoming months.

Meanwhile, I just ran 6.59 kilometers in 38 minutes this morning and it felt great.

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