Tuesday, November 18, 2014
A reader asked about my experience with rehabilitation during the 26 years that I served. Anyone who has read the books I wrote or listened to one of my presentations knows that I had a transformation during the awkward period between the date of my conviction and the day that I was sentenced. That was more than 26 years ago, but I still remember lying in a jail cell and making a commitment to transform my life. I aspired to reconcile with society and work toward earning liberty. Spending time in jail convinced me that I wanted to emerge differently, with opportunities that would allow me to lead a relevant life, regardless of how much time I served.
That vision sustained me through the decades that I served. I worked to educate myself, to contribute to society, and to build a support network. Each day I had a reason to work hard. My 100% commitment to emerging from prison with new opportunities drove me, and it made all of the difference in my adjustment.
Surprisingly, I did not sense much in the way of support from the prison system. Indeed, prison rules frequently frustrated and obstructed my progress. Despite those complications, I maintained a high level of energy and discipline throughout the journey. The experience taught me that “rehabilitation” requires a personal commitment. Whereas the institution of confinement focuses on confinement and security, the individual must focus on preparing for the future that he or she wants to create. When an individual makes that commitment, the individual can achieve much more than “the system” says is possible.
Days since my release from prison: 463
Miles that I ran today: 13.1
Miles that I ran so far this week: 25.35
Miles that I’ve run during the month of November: 114.93
Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,165.07
Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 234.93
Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 42.96
My weight for today: 168