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January 19
1967 - Original airing of Star Trek "Arena" Episode: Kirk battles the Gorn commander (Saugus resident Bobby Clark) at Vasquez Rocks [watch]


The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Saturday, Jan 11, 2014

JenniferFischerJust over seven years ago, I trained for a 30-mile trail run. It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I injured myself the final week before the big run and was unable to run the full course on race day, but still I gained so much from the experience.

My run was a Run for Peace, in which I raised funds for an organization working for peace in the Middle East. During my training, I found the joy in running and discovered the value of focusing on peace as I ran – often having some meditative experiences.

I draw from my intense trail-run training now in my life when I face obstacles, when it seems my path is completely blocked and I’m not sure how I will continue on down “the good long road” of life, as I call it. Then I recall my run and my belief that Peace is Every Step, no matter if that step is small or even backward.

I remind myself that I do Run for Peace or, as the case may be, walk-crawl-dig-scramble and fall … flat on my face, particularly when I might forget that peace is every step.

I must remind myself always to keep the “peace” part front and center. If I falter, and if I lose my way, and if I am not promoting peace with each step and each action, I must learn to stop and breathe and find the center point again – the point that allows me to regain my focus.

RunningforLifeDirtyShoesIn running, if you aren’t breathing properly, it doesn’t really work. You might be fine for awhile, but eventually you will have to stop. Your side will hurt, your lungs will burn, your breath will get shorter and shorter, and you won’t be able to run anymore.

Life is like that, too. If we don’t breathe, if we don’t center ourselves, if we don’t cleanse our bodies and hearts and minds by bringing new oxygen in and releasing the bad, the old, the used, the negative – we won’t get very far. We’ll find that the road is neither good nor long because we’re just walking in place or standing still while life passes us by.

Often, we expend a lot of effort but go nowhere. So we certainly can’t navigate or climb over or go around any obstacles. The breath is all wrong and the energy is not there. The road just feels long and impassable, and certainly not good.

When I look ahead and see a long, impassable road, I try to look harder and breathe deeper. I try to realize that next to that roadblock, or the several roadblocks that keep getting in the way, there might be a single, beautiful red rose or an orchid that is starting to blossom or a tiny ladybug crawling along the path.

These simple pleasures – a baby boy sleeping on your chest, a friend who listens, a stranger who offers a smile, a cup of tea or coffee made with extra care – these, along with a few cleansing breaths, can give a new perspective and grant new energy. Then the roadblocks, although they may still be there, don’t look so intimidating. They might even begin to look like opportunities for creativity, for new ways of thinking and doing, for new partnerships that will get you past them.

Yes, the road is long. Yes, it can get clogged. It can be treacherous. It might even seem impossible. But, the road is also good. Sometimes the good is just harder to find. In those moments, it’s OK to stop for awhile and take a break, take the time to breathe deeply and mourn the challenges, before putting our running shoes back on and logging another mile.

With a new year, we often find ourselves hoping to conquer old challenges or overcome new obstacles. If we stay focused, breathe and look for the light along the path, we will find our way.

 

Jennifer Fischer is co-founder of the SCV Film Festival, a mom of two, an independent filmmaker and owner of Think Ten Media Group, whose Generation Arts division offers programs for SCV youth. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog, The Good Long Road. Her commentary is published Saturdays on SCVNews.com.

 

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