Conditioned Optimism


When I read Jared Campbell’s blog this past week about training for the Barkley Marathons, he mentioned the phrase “conditioned optimism.” He was talking about seeing the weather reporting extremes like hail, blizzards, lightening or intense heat and thinking, “Woo hoo! Another chance to go running in this to train hard for Barkley!”

That phrase has been popping into my head every since I read that. It makes me smile! It gives me a new perspective on things!  So, tonight when my husband and I were in the KFC drive-through, ordering the mashed potatoes, coleslaw, chicken and big root beer I was craving and the car suddenly died and wouldn’t start back up, I didn’t get grumpy. Not a bit! I grinned at my husband and pointed to my feet. I’d gone on an 8 mile run earlier in the mountains and hadn’t gotten around to my after-run shower yet. I was still dressed in my running clothes and had on my running shoes, too!

I got another chance to practice my new positive mental attitude right then, too. We were still sitting in the drive-through with several other cars behind us. I happily opened the car door and hopped behind and started to really put my strong legs to work by PUSHING the car (with my husband still inside since we were parked so close to the ordering speaker he could not open the door!) I thought it was hilarious! And, I felt like a beast!!! Just a few short years ago, I was overweight and out of shape. But, today, I was happy to put my muscles to good use and help my husband out (and of course all those nice people behind us in the drive through that we were keeping from their fried chicken!!!!)

We pushed the car to a parking spot and headed into the restaurant to eat our food. We laughed and joked about what a funny night it had turned into. The car – our little white Escort wagon is a clunker. It’s got about a zillion miles on it and we paid a whopping $350 for it a couple of years ago!  It’s been a good car in that time and has taken us so many places without breaking down! I’d say we got our money’s worth out of it even if we can’t justify whatever it’s going to cost to fix it back up again.

We finished our dinner then headed into Fred Meyer for the garden hose attachment we’d actually been to town to get and then started running home together with our purchase.

Though it had been a really hot day with a temperature of about 90, the sun was setting and it was cooling down to a perfect evening. The spring blossoms on the cherry and apple trees along the route smelled heavenly! The Boise Foothills looming to our left were breathtaking to see! It was fun! We had a great time, enjoyed some chitchat and each got another 4 miles done today!

I’m excited to see in what other ways I can start making lemonade out of lemons!  I encourage you to do the same! The next time things go wrong, find a way to see the positive side of it! And, I will keep working on my “conditioned optimism” too!


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