Running with the Big Dogs!
One of the questions that was offered as a writing topic was “What is it like to be approached by a big dog while running?” I was pondering whether to answer this question literally or metaphorically. I have decided on the latter. A little back history, on a recent run through the neighborhood, I had an encounter with a rather large, but beautiful specimen of a dog whose breed is well-known for having the potential to act aggressively. (There. I know there are many Rott lovers out there…and I tried to say that very gingerly.) We came out unscathed, but I must admit that I am still being a big chicken and haven’t dared to pass the dog’s house since. I love dogs, but I think they need to be restrained in public. These common areas belong to all of us and we should never feel intimidated to walk about in the open. That being said, here comes the far-reaching metaphor for life. I have found in my recent writing endeavor, that there are always going to be metaphorical “big dogs” in the road when you are trying to move forward in life. Big dogs in the form of people. Sometimes even people who you love and trust will unknowingly play the part of a “big dog”. They will intimidate, discourage, or scare you into wanting to turn around and go right back to where you came from. I’m guessing that I am not the only one who has encountered such things along life’s road. I bet if you look around right now, that you will be able to identify a few big dogs in your life. Someone who is standing in the street that was paved with your tax-dollars and telling you that you shall not pass? (Lord of the Rings quote) I have been so inspired by many friends, family, and fellow writers, but I have also been subject to a bit of discouragement by some of the same. There have been times when I have thought about giving up and turning around, but here is one reason that I have stayed the course. The street to success is a publicly owned road that anyone has the right to travel. No one owns it, no one controls it, and no one can tell you to get off of it. Others can try to stand in your way or heckle you from the curb, but those dogs are all bark and no bite. You can just smile and wave as grand marshal of your own personal parade as you sail by the naysayers. It is important, however, to use every experience as a learning opportunity. This journey has made me ever so careful when meeting a fellow traveler. I want to be known as an encourager, a source of help, and a fan of progress. It’s a great character trait to be truly happy for others. So the next time a friend or colleague moves ahead of you on the road to success, instead of throwing out jeers and spoiled fruit, throw confetti and celebrate their accomplishments. I saw great quote on Twitter the other day, “Be nice to each other. There’s enough happiness for us all. Lift each other up, wish one another the best, and see your own life change.” (@dinamanzo)
And that my friends is how it feels to be approached by a big dog while running…towards success that is. My couch 25K plan for running with the big dogs! (metaphorically of course…because I am not stepping a foot on that dog’s street again! He can have it!) Whew! One topic down and 13 more to go…