I did a hard thing today.
Running is not something I am naturally inclined to do, and unlike some people that I know, I have never felt the urge to do it. There is no excitement there for me at all. But as part of my #stayfit routine, it has presented itself as a ‘necessary’ thing that needs to be done.
As I walked to the gym, I set a lofty goal. Run for 30 minutes, murder approximately 600 calories in 20, and spend the remaining 10 minutes thinking about my life and why genes are not enough to keep me slim thick. Might I add that this victory would not be attributed to a faulty machine, no not at all. It would just mean that I am a BEAST! Yup!
I was neither interested nor excited about what laid between point A and B, because let’s be honest, why have the nagging discomfort felt while running at the forefront of my mind? I just wanted to get to the finish line and be able to scream YAY ME while erratically waving my victory flag. I wanted my gratification without feeling the burn.
Then something caught my attention, and its pull was strong, which roused in me a certain kind of unexplainable irritation.
That dang thing made me loose my step a few times, which would have meant multiple face plants on the floor of the treadmill…OOOUCH! I was distracted by the timer because it seemed like an eternity went by before it was a minute closer to the end. Suddenly, I was in the league of veteran conspiracy theorists wondering if the machine and time had conspired against me just to point and laugh at my failed attempt at faking being an active member of the #fitfam squad.
This was a teachable moment for me because in the phase of life I am in currently, every single second matters. It feels like there is no more room for mistakes, like I have reached the expiration date on my allowable errors, and it is scary. I look around and everyone and their dog has it together, and it feels like I am doing the moonwalk in high def slow mo.
There is a great amount of pressure (I have) placed on myself thinking that certain things must be accomplished within its (my) allotted timeframe. But the joke is because I am so focused on striking out an accomplished goal I cannot even sit still long enough to learn, let alone enjoy the process. So then I wonder when I eventually get to the finish line, will waving the victory flag even be fulfilling or would it be a weak flap side to side?
I want the finish line, but not because I am in a race with ‘others’. I want the finish line, but not more than I want the enduring spirit that can only be built in the trenches. I want the finish line, but not at the expense of treasured moments that could be created in the dreaded in betweens. I want the finish line, but not more than learning strategies along the way that’ll help me duplicate the successes. I want the finish line, but not more than living this one life I have been given. I want the finish line, but not out of God’s perfect will for my life.
So today can I ask you to stop, sit and breathe? Let the timer run, do not let it control your existence. There is a lot to be gained between the 1 minute mark and the 29 minutes and 59 seconds mark. Make it less about running against time and more about building consistent habits that will get you there, keep you there and propel you even further than your wildest ‘hard to comprehend’ dreams.
PS: I am determined to actually enjoy my next run, keeping in mind what my sweet little friend (in my mind) Mila (@kcstauffer) once said, “sweat is my body crying” because and I yell death to Michelin tire!!!! (my pet name as a baby because of my unending rolls). I’ll save my actual tears for later, like in the shower or the morning after when I can hardly move.