When you set a personal best, do you call it a one-time success, or try to make it your new normal? Last week I did my best run ever at the gym, but it took everything I had. I wouldn’t have made it without some well-chosen music on my mp3 player.
Running this Monday, I wondered. Could I do it again? Maybe. But did I want to?
Truth: I didn’t want to do it. But I didn’t want to settle for less. I wanted to have done it, and that meant powering through.
Running is a bit like writing:
- small steps add up
- I need to pace myself
- drinking water helps (yes, even with writing)
- it can be painful
- watching the timer or distance counter or word count makes it feel harder
- but seeing the numbers climb does get encouraging
- there’s a spot early on where I want to quit
- there’s another spot in the middle where I want to quit
- there’s a spot near the end where I want to quit
- my mind has the power to finish me or keep me going
- regular discipline is crucial: repeated effort does get easier
- but it’s still hard work
- prayer helps (yes, even with running)
- comparing myself to others is a bad idea
- pressing on can be an act of worship
- goals must be reachable if I stretch for them
- breaks are important
- benchmarks along the way motivate and encourage
- it all comes back to tenacity
- no one else can do it for me
- the right music helps (upbeat worship for running, mellow instrumental jazz for writing)
- “The End” feels good
I really like these comparisons, Janet. It is all hard work but there are things that make it easier. Yes, there are a number of spots where we just want to quit but I love what you said about seeing it as an act of worship. Thanks!
Thanks, Ruth Ann. If God gave us this gift, He expects us to use it 🙂 And in those moments when it’s fun, it’s a lot more fun for me than running ever is!
You’ve put in lots of hours to learn by experience what you’ve shared, Janet. The way you’ve persevered encourages all the rest of us. Thank you.
Thanks, Mary! It’s been a long road for both of us, but we’re not alone!