A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.
– Mark Twain
I’ve been trying to change my mind over the last couple day. Lifehacker posted a blurb on a report from Science Daily suggesting runners should drink water when they are thirsty.
This information probably didn’t blow your mind the way it did mine.
Let me explain.
For over nine years, I’ve been a distance runner. Since that comical first go when I was sure I’d make 2 miles to my last marathon, I’ve been amassing pieces of running knowledge and sharing them as I meet other runners:
- During morning runs, warm up with two easy miles and then stretch so as not to injure cold muscles and tendons.
- Your metabolism is spiking for the first 45 minutes to an hour after you run.
- About 20 minutes into a run is where the average person’s sugar supply is depleted and the fat burning process begins.
- If you wait until you’re thirsty to drink water, you’re probably already dehydrated.
These are the pieces of who I am as a runner. They represent the framework of knowledge I carry with me that let me know I have some idea of what I’m doing.
Except, as Science Daily seems dedicated to pointing out, I don’t know what I’m doing.
This is the battle in which I’ve been engaged.
I’ve been grieving an idea.
Though it’s painfully simple – one sentence long – my flow chart of running is built around such conditional statements. If this is wrong, how do I know what is right?
I’ll be fine on the running front, I know.
I’ll do some research and figure out what makes the most sense.
It’s got me thinking, though, about what this means in the other systems in my life. I’ve started contemplating how receptive I am to new ideas and how receptive I expect others to be when I introduce a new idea or way of framing understanding.
New ideas aren’t easy. They require the shuffling around of the furniture in my head to make way for that new armoire. The thing is, collecting the new ideas requires losing some of the old ones. I can fit in the armoire, but I’ve got to lose the love seat.
And that’s the piece that’s probably been the most difficult in this instance. My best friend Katy, who taught me to run, educated me on when and when not to hydrate. That knowledge has emotional attachment.
I frequently ran into this problem on the other side when I’d tell students they could begin a sentence with “because” or they should avoid starting sentences with “There is…” or “There are…” To me, I was building a framework to help them succeed. To them, I was asking them to donate most of their mental furniture to the infinite.
Learning is tricky stuff.
I’m going running later today. I’m seriously considering not drinking water until I’m thirsty. Is that crazy?