I was teaching a final year high school class today and as they are only a few weeks away from graduating I've been taking them aside one by one and asking them questions about their future. This has been for my benefit perhaps more than theirs.
Here are some of the questions I put to them today.
"In your future do you think you will:
run a marathon?"
learn to play a musical instrument?"
take a trip to Europe?"
own your own business?"
After they answer I ask follow up questions but apart from the students simply practicing using the language I've found this exercise illuminating. Basically nobody imagines themselves running a marathon in their future. This is, I guess, because they are simply not interested in running or they can't imagine doing something that seems impossible to them now.
I think I would have answered in the negative too at seventeen but I hope they will try one day and come to know the reasons I love running so much.
The following quote by Christopher Reeve explains much. He says: "So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."
For me I love running because I can challenge myself and what I once thought impossible can be made, through effort and sacrifice, possible.
Living a good life is all about doing now what we thought we couldn't do before. Or at least trying to ;)