Tell me if you share in this experience: Running is hard.
Let me elaborate. I got it in my head that running a few days a week would be the key to getting my whole life in order. Somehow getting up early and moving my legs is the definitive answer for all of the things. I guess my logic there was rooted things I’ve heard from about 1,000 modern get-things-done gurus, from James Clear to Kevin Hart. Get up early, build the habit, do the things, clear the mind, yadda yadda yadda.
So I started running. And it’s hard.
The getting up. The feeling like doing it. The getting dressed. The stretching. All of feels like labor, all ahead of the running itself.
The running though. Man.
I get my legs moving and quickly but not fast. Maybe I’m not moving forward much faster than a walk would carry me, yet my legs are moving like some version of a runner. It’s an odd dichotomy. My running path is the same one each day. I exit the backdoor of my house, leave my backyard and make a right down the street. I then make a left and run down a straight road. That straight road is tricky because it starts with a steep hill. So I’m barely getting started, yet I’m running uphill.
I feel it in my legs. I’m tired already. I feel like a failure. I want to stop running and walk my out-of-shape behind back to the house. I want to do that at that same moment every single time. Every time.
But I don’t stop. The music helps. I’m listening to Kendrick, followed by Kanye. Those songs help. I decide I won’t stop until the very end of the song. It helps.
Then, in a sudden flow of energy, it gets less hard. Dare I say, it gets easier. You’ve heard it a million times. I’ve heard it a million times plus one. I hate hearing it. The fact of the matter is… we hear it so many times because it’s true. I don’t feel any less winded. My legs don’t burn any less. I just feel the motion become more natural.
I push forward, setting arbitrary goals for when to slow back down to walk and when to begin running again. When I pass that car up there, I’ll start running again. When I get to that tree, I’ll slow back down. It ebbs and flows. Throughout the whole thing, I’m feeling a constant truth: I’m glad I did this.
When I get back home I’m sweaty. I’m breathing heavy. I’m chugging water. I’m alive. I’ve got ideas. I’ve got drive. I’ve got a reason to keep this same energy for the rest of my day.
Running is hard. I’m grateful for that.