Today as I drove around Mexico City doing family errands, my girls were watching a movie — The Croods. I overheard some dialog that resonated with me:
- Eep: Dad, you have to stop worrying about us.
- Grug: But it’s my job to worry! It’s my job to follow the rules.
- Eep: The rules don’t work out here.
- Grug: They kept us alive.
- Eep: That wasn’t LIVING! That was just… “Not Dying”! There’s a difference.
That last line repeated in my mind all day. It’s quite profound on many levels. Too often I find in today’s hustle and bustle we are conforming to this set of norms and that set of rules–continuously trying to stay within the lines. How should I be raising my daughters? What food should they eat? What should I not do at work? How should I comport myself in this or that social situation.
In my athletic world, how much should I be training? How hard should I train? What should I eat? Is this the right form? Did I recover enough? Am I “fueling and hydrating” properly? And on and on and on…
Rules and regulations permeate practically every facet of my life. I actually revel in the rules and get a weird sense of accomplishment when I feel as if I have checked all the imaginary boxes on self imposed checklists of things I should and should not do.
While I definitely am not proposing anarchy and mayhem in a ruleless society, this quote was a reminder that I should be more mindful of my actions and decisions. I don’t have a meaningful takeaway to share with the world but what I do know is the next time I go out and run, it will be with a youthful exuberance and push the limits of fun. The next time I interact with my daughters, I will be mindful to not stress the rules but instead promote what they can do–ask them what they think.
Let us choose to live rather than simply not die.