I’ve always been a long distance runner. A few years ago, I had to stop running due to some health issues. This wasn’t a sprained ankle situation or even a stress fracture that took me out for a couple months. This was I can barely take my dog for a walk sick. Eventually, I was able to find a balance of medication that gifted back my ability to function, walk, etc. That being said, a regular running routine was not at all on my mind.
In August 2016, that changed. For the first time in years, I was able to get myself on a schedule of running almost every day. It was absolutely incredible.
I would run the parks of Manhattan and laugh at the topographical differences between the flat runway along the Hudson and the hilly courses I grew up running in Western Pennsylvania. I didn’t mind the flat. I was just getting back into running. It was okay to go a little bit easy.
It’s been almost a year now of regular running – less a concussion here or a head cold there – and I couldn’t feel more grateful to be able to glide through 10 mile days and wall sits that make my entire body shake. I know how blessed I am.
Today, I had planned on a hill workout. However, after a terrible night’s sleep and a strong desire to do anything but a hill workout, I reverted back to my copout plan of literally anything else.
Then I remembered my initial thoughts from last August.
A lot of the courses I run here are really flat. I don’t mind though. I’m just getting back into running so I don’t need to go crazy.
That was a year ago. For a year I’ve been careful and calculated and steady and planned. And I don’t need to do that anymore. I don’t want a cop out.
Run the hill workout.
I was thinking a lot about this as I trudged up and down the hills later this evening. How many times have I taken something and gone easy because I was just getting started or it was new or I wanted to pace myself?
In some cases, that’s okay.
In most cases, that’s not.
My roommate went to the store tonight and bought an easel, paint, brushes, and canvases. He had a list and a plan. He came home and with the help of Bob Ross, painted a really beautiful mountain scene on a medium sized canvas.
My roommate is not an artist. But he decided he wanted to paint and so he did.
That’s how I want to live. I want to dive into something and do it full force. I don’t want to dip my toe in the water or practice mixing colors on a scratch piece of paper. I want to cannonball into life and I want to deep dive in pursuit of the things that bring me joy. I want to learn something new that challenges me and I want to give up the crutch of excuses.
What are you giving up on before you start? What are you haphazardly pursuing? Why not give it your all? Why not do the research and follow through and commit to something with everything in you?
Run the hill workout.
Paint the canvas.
Give it everything you’ve got. No excuses.