Self Discovery: Retracing my Steps

One of the biggest steps of personal development is self discovery. Self discovery includes the search for one’s own strengths, weaknesses, inspirations, motivations, and more. The better you understand yourself the greater chance you have at improving the core.

One of the things I have been doing recently to understand myself better is in searching my past to find the source of my own personality and character attributes. This is a long and difficult process.

For example, why do I run? When did I begin running and why did I continue for so long? My general ability and desire to run has to be rooted somewhere. Running around on playgrounds at recess couldn’t be the source since most children at that age did that. If I can discover this little thing about me I will be able to perhaps instill in my own children a habit of exercise.

So here it goes:

My first memory of doing any running outside of what any other kids would have done stems back to elementary school. After grade 3 I stopped packing a lunch every day and started going home for lunch. One of the best things of going home for lunch everyday was the potential for a longer recess. The faster I got home and got back, the more time I got to play before going back in. This was motivation enough for me to run home for lunch and then run back to school. Even at a run it took me 7 or 8 minutes maybe to get home. Come to think of it this would probably explain why I eat so fast too.

Next memory of extra running comes from my paper route: I delivered the Green River Star paper every Tuesday. Mostly I walked the route because of the heavy load of papers on my shoulders but toward the end I would finish at a run to get home faster.

Around 6th or 7th grade I also picked up a daily paper route for the Daily Rocket Miner. My dad would drive me to the delivery area and drop me off at the top of each street. I would take an armful of papers and run the street throwing papers back and forth meeting my Dad at the end of the street where he delivered the last few homes while waiting. This was good for 30 minutes of running 6 days a week for 6 years.

In Junior High I joined the track team and ran distance. Mostly this decision came from the desire to be in a sport but not having skill at anything else. I figured I could do this and there was the least amount of competition at the longer distances so I decided to compete in the mile and 1/2 mile.  This continued through the end of high school where I also was on the cross country team.

Its not just about running. Why are we the way we are. If we wish to improve ourselves we must first understand who we are, thus enabling us to measure improvement. Changes are most easily made when we can identify how habits were formed in the first place.

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