Drop a frog in boiling water and it jumps out in shock.
Place him in room-temperature water and he won’t mind if you slowly crank up the heat.
He’ll look you square in the eye, absorbing the heat until it all goes black.
I latched onto the frog parable when I read it in Run The Edge. Good book. Who can’t relate to that frog’s fate? To feel stuck in hopeless situations we can’t escape. To think, "yeah, my life isn’t a disaster, but that doesn’t mean I am not slowly dying.” Boo hoo.
I kept replaying it in my mind, watching a frog version of myself die again and again. My career, relationships, projects, politics, faith, everything.
It all seemed like lukewarm water boiling me slowly.
Call it depression. Call it a low point in the rhythm of boosters and drainers. I enjoyed the frog metaphor but it wasn’t helping me escape the soup.
And like it always does, running helped me break the negative thought pattern. As I reflected on my training, the cumulative stress, the transformation of pain to fitness, I realized how similar my self-induced agony was to the heat inflicted on that frog. The difference was that when I am running I am the one with my hand on the knob controlling the burner.
There’s always a choice. We can stew in our own juices, the meat in someone else’s frog soup, passively allowing fate to cook us alive. Or we can transcend the stress, crank up the heat, use it to forge better versions of ourselves.
Thanks for reading. I write every Saturday, so follow me if my words cooked your frog today. Stay creative.
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