Simplicity vs. Efficiency

During the past months of 2012, I’ve been repeating over and over to myself that “I will simplify things in 2013… simplify…simple…say no…simplicity”. But who am I kidding? That is NOT in my nature. And how can I simplify when we already have a trip a month planned from now until April?? I also want to become a better runner, eat even better, make yoga a regular part of my weekly routine and continue taking ceramics class. What can I say, I like things busy; when things aren’t busy I get bored. Unfortunately, at some point my poor partner has to hear me complain about how I took on too much. When I’m stressed, he’s stressed and vice versa. But as we’ve witnessed during my injury, bored Corine is much worse than too busy Corine. I realized trying to fight the laws of nature (my innate personality), would simply set me up for failure. This too leads to an unhappy Corine. ūüėČ

As the days drew nearer to 2013 I realized that the adjective I was really looking for was efficient.

EFFICIENT:

  • achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense
  • (of a person) working in a well-organized and competent way
  • [in combination] preventing the wasteful use of a particular resource

Now THAT is something I can get behind – THAT IS ME. I HATE doing things the “slow” way when I know there is a faster way. When we run errands, I need to map out the most logical route that doesn’t lead to any back-tracking; one giant circle is always best. ūüėČ Efficiency is something I understand, appreciate and strive for naturally. It is achievable. I read a book a LONG time ago that talks about lowering your expectations (for people and yourself) and you will be happier. Being a perfectionist, I scoffed at that notion when I first read it. “Pffffft! I’m not lowering MY expectations.” But the more I read, the more I realized it was true. As soon as I learned to LET GO of certain expectations, I became a happier person. Some things, you cannot change. For those things, you absolutely need to have realistic expectations. On the other hand, there are certainly things worth fighting for. Discerning the difference is the tricky part.

On one of my last runs of 2012, I had an¬†epiphany. I had just started a regular running routine after a 3 month¬†hiatus due to an injury and I was having an “off” day. During those months, I dealt with borderline depression from my lack of running and had many “who am I without running” moments. I quickly snapped myself out of THAT downward spiral and told myself, “You are running. Don’t worry that you are running slower than usual.” I had months of pent up energy and ALL I wanted to do was go out and sprint every run – but even more than that I didn’t want another injury preventing me from running period. As swiftly as I started thinking, “Come on Corine, you can push faster than this.” I shifted my thinking to “What do you have control over? Miles. What do you not have control over all the time? Pace. What do you care more about? Miles. So, focus on miles. Who cares what your pace is.” That morning, I was exhausted. I didn’t want to get out of bed and run in the cold… but I did. Then once I was out there, I felt half asleep and my pace was about 30-45 seconds slower per mile than average. I just didn’t want to push. Pushing had gotten me¬†injured¬†in the first place and I was tired. After my little pep talk and realization, I went on to run a mile further than I had scheduled and it was completely stress free. I was onto something.

My ability to see past my pace enabled me to enjoy every single run to it’s fullest for the remainder of 2012.¬†Coincidentally,¬† I’ve already reached my weekly mileage goal 4 weeks ahead of schedule and my pace has increased. It’s this low stress attitude that I want to carry into 2013. I still have all the same goals I listed above, I just won’t waste time beating myself up if it’s not perfect or exactly how I thought it would be. I’m also going to PLAN better. Sometimes you need to shift your thinking, not change it¬†completely¬†and you will find what you are looking for.

zen corine

A Zen moment captured perfectly by Thomas Boggan Photography

On a lighter note, we have a photographer friend who took some awesome and fun photos of me one Saturday morning at a local park. The one above captures my true happiness I find in running. The one below is sort of an over the top Runner’s World-esque photo, that embodies my attitude towards running in 2012, which is very apropos to this blog post. Out with the old and in with the new.

corine 2012

Photo courtesy of Thomas Boggan Photography

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2 Responses to Simplicity vs. Efficiency

  1. Why are you a zucchini runner, Corine? Were you always a zucchini runner? How do you even spell zucchini??? Thanks for starting this blog and making it a facebook page so we can quickly connect. Love the philosophical topic and the beautiful pictures.

    • Thanks Kathy! I’m afraid there is nothing philosophical about the name Zucchini Runner. I chose it based on availability, my love for zucchini squash and all things green. ūüėČ Oh, and my 15 years of being a vegetarian. This new blog will also showcase only vegan recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

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