late last year, i made a conscious decision to start working out more regularly. exercising was something i did consistently before Jarronn died, and i knew that 2+ years was way too long to have gone without physical activity. my body was showing me signs as well -- all those pounds lost during days when i couldn't eat back in 2009 had slowly made their way back to my love handles and other undesirable places. a good sign of a recovered appetite, yes. but bad news when it came to wanting to wear everything in my closet.
so i had to get going.
i started running. not with the goal of completing any major races (although being prepared for the wrtc 5k was a good bonus). but i just wanted to work myself up to a place where i knew i could run 3-4 miles consistently, whenever i felt like it.
the thing about running is that most people who know me will tell you i'm not too fond of it. i'm all for running as part of sports activity. but just running to run? that has never gotten me excited. all the stuff about clearing your mind, it being addictive, and the great reward at the end....ummm, not really feeling it.
i had several friends recommend i listen to music while i ran. this seemed like a good idea, in theory. i love music. it often motivates me as i work. seems like it might motivate me to run as well.
but the truth is, it's a horrible idea.
in running more, i learned that listening to music while running just isn't for me. why? because with every song that plays, i anticipate the ending and how the ending equates to time passed. with every song that ends, i create a tally, figuring that if say four songs have played, i've probably been running for about 14 minutes. which means i have somewhere around 20 more to go. which means i'm not even halfway done! and my mind starts imagining those next 20 minutes. the sweat, the potential cramp, the fatigue. the experience soon becomes pretty miserable. even songs i've always loved suddenly seem way too long and unbearable. ("do you really need to sing the chorus a third time?!")
but when running without music, things are much better. without music, i listen to the sound of my breath. of my living. i don't focus so much on how much further i need to go. i just put one foot in front of the other. and keep going.
kind of like taking it one day at a time.
not anticipating how much longer you have to endure something. not asking if you're through the first quarter or halfway point? not imposing your own impressions of how long something should take. just moving. breathing. step. by. step.
because sometimes, the anticipation of when it will all be over makes the process much, much worse. anticipating the potential for hardship down the road and prematurely trying to prepare can make you want to slow your pace or quit before even getting there. better to just focus on the task at hand -- the next step. and those steps do add up into minutes and miles and moments and milestones.
do i now say i like running?
but i do like what it's taught me.