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  • Writer's pictureDiana Fletcher

Running Laps Never Led to Flying

Updated: Dec 12, 2018

I was listening to a recording the other day. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes was sharing a poem she had written in the late seventies about the men from IBM, and this line jumped out at me: "Running laps never led to flying

Fly, Dance, Live

I was delighted. The image came to me of soaring over a high school track and I thought about flying in life. Flying into new adventures, soaring over other countries, and so on...

I am a runner and a walker. I have used tracks since high school.  I used to take my children when they were small. I could let them play on the football field and  keep an eye on them while I ran. I trained at a track and on my treadmill for the marathon I ran 6 years ago.

However, as many of you know, if you only do laps, it gets really boring.

It Can Get a Little....Boring.

How much of your life is spent running laps, doing the same thing over and over again, and feeling ennui as a result?

In order to fly, in order to feel excitement and ultimately some bliss, you need to stop just running laps and shake things up bit.

You run laps when you eat the same foods day after day. Yes, the food may  be tasty and nutritious, but doesn't it get boring?

You run laps when you have the same conversations day after day without variation. I get bored with myself when I keep repeating the same stuff during internal conversations!

I get bored hearing people repeat themselves when they aren't the least bit interested in making changes.

Isn't it running laps when you don't find your job fulfilling and though admirable that you keep showing up and doing a good job, you don't do anything about changing jobs or looking around for new ideas or ventures?

Aren't you just running laps when you "go through the motions" of life? Not changing, not trying new things, not exploring the world out there?

This is my advice: Stop running laps all the time. Yes, they serve a purpose. No, you don't have to keep doing it every day.

Here are three ways to get you started on changing it up a bit.

  1. Sign up for a new class. Try something completely new. I may see if my community ed is still offering fencing instruction.

  2. Don't complain. For one day, don't say anything negative. It could lead to remarkably interesting conversations.

  3. Think BIG. Ask yourself this question: If I could do anything in the world, what would it be? When your mind says, and it most likely will, “But I can’t because__________.” STOP!  Instead, say, “Well, what if I could? What if there was nothing in my way? What would be my first step?” Then, hold on….wait for it….TAKE THE FIRST STEP.   What if something amazing happens? How cool would that be?

Right now, try one of these tips, or all three. Let me know if you start flying.


Amanda said "I totally agree with this post. Even when I know I am doing the right thing (like exercising or eating right) I find it gets really boring. Then, of course, I feel guilty for thinking that. I think all aspects of your life should be varied and exciting. Great advice!"

Diana responded with "Thanks so much for writing. I am pleased that you agree and understand what I am talking about. Happy flying!"

Danielle said "Thank you for the great action steps. Your action steps are always simple, practical and effective. By the way: I hope you do get to do a fencing class!"

Diana responded with "I am pleased that you like the action steps and that you found them practical. I just checked and no fencing offered. =( However, I will start Krav Maga again after Labor Day and that is always fun and new and soooo tough. It’s definitely not running laps! =)"

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