One of the (Many) Lessons My Dad Taught Me

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Tami VerHelst

Yesterday I was out trail running, and I noticed that I was able to look out ahead to where I wanted to go rather than simply looking down at the spot right in front of me. The trail was rocky and had turns, but I managed to implement a lesson my dad taught me many years earlier.

When my dad was teaching me to ride a motorcycle, he kept drilling into me that I needed to “look where I wanted to go.” He told me that if I looked at the tree, I’d drive into the tree. Clearly, this would not be a good choice. So rather than looking at the point of the curve that was directly ahead of me, I looked in the direction of the end of the curve to where I wanted to go. My brain made the adjustments so that I could (successfully) negotiate the curve.

As I was trail running, I realized I did the same thing with the rugged trail – feet dancing on the rocks but not tripping or falling even though I was focused yards ahead of where I was.

I was struck with how that was true for me in recovery, as well. I had to look ahead to where I wanted to go. My brain (well, actually, the great people I had in my life helping me, along with my Higher Power and my 12-step program) guided me along the path. And I would say this happened successfully, as I stayed and continue to stay sober.

So yesterday, when I reached the top of the mountain, after I’d had this realization, I paused and took a moment to think about this and to see where I had been – the beauty of that path – and that was a wonderful moment. And then I took off back down the mountain, looking out ahead of myself to where I wanted to go, just as I do with my recovery.

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This post originally appeared at this link. It is reprinted here with the permission of the author.