Friday, February 17, 2006

Intentional or Incidental?

I had an absolutely fabulous run yesterday morning. I love those runs when it all comes together, nothing hurts, just flowing along. I felt like I could go for hours. Unfortunately, I had a YMCA board meeting at 7:30 am, so I had to get back home and get ready. On board meeting mornings I usually cut my run short, about 40 minutes, but yesterday I added on time. I ran 53:46. And I still had time for a shower, a quick breakfast and made it to the meeting on time.

I was supposed to give the opening thought at the meeting - I had it all planned, had notes jotted down and was ready to go - till I went out for my run. I decided that I didn't really feel like talking about what I had planned, so I spent my run coming up with a new topic. I was going to base my opening thought on this quote by Elizabeth Stone:

Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Based on the quote, I was going to say that we, as a board, were given a gift by the members of the Y - that they were trusting us with their hearts both literally and figuratively, and expand from there. I'm not sure why, but I decided I didn't want to talk about that this time.

Instead I switched over to the idea of intentional vs. incidental actions. This comes from a workshop I attended on the 40 Developmental Assets. The idea was that parenting should be intentional rather than incidental. Incidental parenting is what we do to get through the day - making sure our children are fed and clothed, that they are out the door on time, or that homework is done. Incidental parenting almost happens on autopilot. Intentional parenting is parenting with forethought. An example is guidance. When there is a transgression, rather than punishment, you discipline (guide) with the goal in mind of teaching a specific lesson - maybe that there is a consequence for every action, maybe that you need to think before you speak. Intentional parenting is harder work - we have to think about the interaction ahead of time and plan how we will approach it. Intentional parenting has an end goal in mind - basically all interactions are to shape and guide your child toward the type of person you hope they will become.

Anyway - how did I relate that to the Y? That we have to be intentional board members - not just show up, sit in a meeting and leave. But that all our actions on the board and as Y members are with the intention of making the Y a better place. We want to build a community and a "Y without walls". We need to take the time to speak to the person on the machine next to us, or in class next to us. We need to chat with people in the locker rooms. We need to be representatives of the Y when we are out in the community. We are very fortunate that our Y is a new, open, light and bright place to be. We currently have 17,700 members - and we are having growing pains. However, the atmosphere at our Y is electric - there is a buzz in the air, it's very much a small community. We have grand goals for our Y and in the larger community and I'm very excited to be a part of it.

Whoops -I got a little sidetracked from my running report! I might as well admit that I can easily slip into lecture mode. I'll try to control it.

Darcy and I ran the track last night and got in another 50 minutes. It sure helps to have someone to talk to while you are circling endlessly! We had to dodge the sparks coming off their shoes whenever Rob and Jamal flew by us (at least Rob told me to watch out for them, I never actually saw sparks!) Eric and a group of runners from Fleet Feet combined track running and looping around a couple of blocks. It was about 30 degrees with a strong wind. I was really glad to get over to Starbucks and have a hot drink after (we missed you Darcy!).

No run today, Friday is rest and Pilates day. Thank goodness! It's about 25 degrees out and strong gusting winds. I've already had two or three really large branches come down. I'll hit the road again tomorrow with the Run Club.


olga said...

Gives lots to think about...

angie's pink fuzzy said...

I've been thinking a lot about intentions lately - in regard to parenting, work and my life in general. Thinking about intentions before I take any sort of action has been helping me so much!

I like the quote.

Ironayla said...

Wished I could of joined you guys for coffee last night! I might get another chance to run with you again on another Thursday night.... I will have to fill you in on Sunday.

I plan on running with you on Sunday. I will get there early and do my best to be back in order to run an hour with you :) And do coffee afterwards!! :)

robtherunner said...

What do you mean you didn't see the sparks?