Your treat

A pellet stove starts when the auger in the hopper turns a quarter turn and drops a few pellets into the fire pot.

Most pellet stoves have an electric heating element in the bottom of the fire pot that begins to warm the pellets. They soon begin to smolder and after about 2 minutes, they combust.

The auger then makes a full turn and drops more pellets into the pot. Once the fire is blazing in the fire pot, the blower turns on pushes the warm air out into the room.

They’re extremely efficient and can typically burn wood pellets or corn kernels (acquired from feed store) if pellets are in short supply. Corn is more difficult to clean out as a result of the sugars burning which results in the formation of clinkers. They’re really the only waste that is generated. Very efficient.

When you’re outside exercising in the cold you warm up the same way a pellet stove warms up. From the inside.

Heavy rain today and temps around 40 degrees. I didn’t want to run.

I procrastinated and procrastinated and milled around and drank more coffee and read the paper front to back.

And I went through my list of excuses for why I shouldn’t run:

  • hard run yesterday
  • tired legs
  • tired heart
  • bruised heal
  • didn’t get enough sleep
  • want to be fresh tomorrow
  • it’s raining
  • it’s cold
  • it’s windy
  • there isn’t enough time

Once I went through the list (a few times) there were no more excuses. I’m not very good at fooling myself. I thought about the small amount of time I would be outside in the cold and rain. And about the hot green chai I would drink when I got home, stripping off my wet clothes and putting on my puffy, more tea, a hot shower, a bagel with almond butter and honey. Walking around the house in bare feet.  It was a cozy picture. And  it worked.

I packed up the UD vest, put my phone in a plastic ziploc, tied my shoes, put on some music and went outside to get to work. No expectations, no self-apologies necessary, past the excuses. Opening my mind to whatever experience was to come.

Everyone goes through the same thing … in work or exercise or really just taking action and moving forward. In sports, in racing … I learned a secret a long time ago, everyone hurts the same when things are difficult. Who can move past it? How do you manage it?

Yesterday I was in flow state numerous times on my trail run (3 to be exact) . In fact, I said aloud to myself, “This feels sooo good right now”. The universe was in alignment. I was centered, focused, relaxed. I could modulate my effort at a micro scale… speed up, slow down – jump some rocks, fly. Difficult to explain,  but that’s what flow feels like.

People are fallible – they’re frightened, unsure of themselves. I think of it like an idea. Everyone has them, they exist inside. But you have to nurture them and grow them. They need to be cared for and cultivated. Be nice to yourself. Be patient.

There is always a reason not to do something – they typically all stem from fear. Fear of failing, fear of disappointing someone, fear of being wrong (sometimes fear of being right).

And the funny thing is – if this all sounds cliché – it’s because there is always the kernel of truth in a cliché (that’s why it’s cliché).

As I was running over the Hawthorne Bridge into downtown today – I remembered something I read on Stevie Haston’s blog last year… think of the work as your treat.

If instead of saying:
“I can’t do this today. I’m frightened.”… say instead:
“This is my treat today.” Enjoy it. And I did.

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