As I lay on my couch icing my hip after a 9 mile run– oh wait – did I just say 9 mile run? Hell yeah I did! As previously mentioned in my last blog I’m training for my first half marathon and GOSH have I had a tough time due to some persistent injuries. I know there are a TON of talented runners out there who might think 9 miles is a drop in the bucket, but that’s the longest I’ve ever run (so far). I admire all you dedicated road warriors so much. So as I was laying there recovering I starting thinking, “how much am I willing to sacrifice to get what I want”? Well, apparently I’m willing to sacrifice the ability to walk without an obvious hobble for a couple of days after a longer run. I’m also sacrificing close to 2 hours of my Sunday mornings and a few hours during the week to try and get this bod ready to achieve this goal. But to me, it will be worth it when I cross that finish line, knowing that I gave it my all, improved my health and busted through mental and physical challenges that arose along the way.
So I pondered on all the ways we humans sacrifice things we want or need; all of the parents and family members who give so much of themselves to care for loved ones, first responders who often sacrifice their very life to keep others safe, teachers who sacrifice tons of personal time because their workload is beyond anything that can truly be handled in a 40-hour week, a child who sacrifices their favorite toy in order to share it with another. When I think of these moving examples of sacrifice, it makes me wonder.…..why is it so hard to pass up the chips & queso!!
Well I recently read a tidbit about the motivation behind “costly altruism” which you can see here. It shared some recent research about why humans may put themselves in danger or do other things that require a sacrifice of significant weight. Good news! The study found that we often make these decisions based on “compassionate concern” for others versus the desire to selfishly reduce the distress it may cause us personally to see another in a difficult situation. But this clearly is a different kind of sacrifice than my chips & queso situation.
Or is it? If we viewed ourselves with the same level of “compassionate concern” as we might others, would we maybe do a better job in making better choices for ourselves? Hmmmm…..I realize I’ve never really thought about it that way. I’m wondering if you have? Yes, I will still have the occasional chips & queso, and make other choices that might not be perfect for my healthy lifestyle, but I encourage you to join me in giving pause to moments in your life when you have an opportunity to make sacrifices that benefit YOU! Maybe your level of stress is taking its toll or maybe you haven’t gotten a physical checkup in years. Please my friends – we live in a busy, challenging world – take care of yourselves. Consider some sacrifices you can make that will lead you to a better place in health, mindset, finance, whatever. Give to yourself, just as you would to another human for whom you have “compassionate concern”. On that note, I think I’ll sacrifice some mindless social media scrolling tonight to get to bed just a smidge earlier.