There are things that matter and things that don’t. Government sponsored health care does not matter.

“Wait!” cry my Democrat friends, “Your aunt will no longer have to worry about bankrupting her parents in order to get chemo. That matters!”

“Wait!” cry my Republican friends, “Do you want America to become like Germany: with a fifty percent income tax to pay for often inferior medical care? That matters!”

I could answer these questions, and likely, alienate both my liberal and conservative friends. So I won’t give my opinion here. Let me clarify my relegation of government health care into the “Doesn’t Matter” category: This issue, and all it baggage, matters theoretically, but it’s not worth getting my sweatsocks in a twist.

The hierarchy of things that matter, currently goes like this: God, home, marathon.

That’s it people. The other stuff is not worth my time, my will, or especially, my emotion.

There are things that matter and things that don’t. In The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer, Tanjala Cole suggests when you encounter negative thoughts while you’re out on the trail, tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter.” I tested this on Friday.

I managed to get out the door while the farmers were still milking cows and cleaning stalls. The first 1.5 miles has traditionally been the toughest part of the entire run. It is spent battling negative thoughts, like Wonder Woman deflecting bullets with her golden bracelets.

I’m hot.

Doesn’t matter.

This reflective vest is making me sweaty.

Doesn’t matter.

The wind is blowing in my face.

So what?

These shoes are too small.

Can you do anything about it now?


 Then it doesn’t matter.

I weigh too much to run how I want.

You’re doing it anyway.

It’s going to rain.

Your skin is waterproof

Do deer get angry and charge at you like moose?

Doesn’t matter.

My run continued in this manner until I reached my first long, steep hill. On top of this particular hill, there is a road sign, which, from the bottom, looks like the silhouette of Pilgrim before he lays down his burden. As I met Pilgrim, I realized I had been concentrating so much on deflecting negative thoughts, I had forgotten about my breathing.  I had lapsed into a 2-2 breathing pattern and was running a quicker pace than normal. To my surprise, I felt fine.

I maintained the 2-2 pattern for the entire run. About a mile from the finish line, I realized I had forgotten to use my inhaler.

And it just didn’t matter.


Miles: 5

Terrain: Normally, I get disoriented on the winding country roads. This time, the landscape suddenly switched into focus. I was running part of a trail from last summer. I had only to cut across the hill, and I could be home in half a mile. Last summer, by the time I reached that part of the trail, I was done for. But now I could run it the long way and feel great. It gave me a real sense of accomplishment.

Wildlife: the deer were so close, I felt the ground tremble as they crossed the road in front of me. And, in case you’re wondering, they don’t charge at you.

Weather: clouds all around but sunny in the middle (like being in the eye of a storm), 54 degrees.