Saturday, December 17, 2011

Run Away With Me

One foot in front of the other. It's how we make it through a day. Every day we somehow find the motivation, strength and drive to pick up one foot, move it through the air, and place it in front of the other foot. Sometimes we take baby steps, and sometimes we run in full strides.

After a particularly rough day earlier this week, I decided I wasn't going to beat myself up for my silly shortcomings. On this day, I decided just to give myself a pat on the back for surviving as an adult. After all, I wake up every morning, climb out of bed (albeit usually late), and I go to work or to my volunteer program. I pay my bills, I take good care of my belongings, even better care of my dog, and I continuously put one foot in front of the other. And just for this, I need to give myself credit.

Because I can't always succeed at everything else, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try. I can't always succeed at being an amazing friend or sibling or daughter. I can't always be perfect at my job. I can't always be pulled together with a nice outfit and a clean apartment. All I can do is give myself credit for making it through the hard times, the mundane times and enjoying the happy ones.

Lately I feel like I've been running at full speed without ever reaching a destination. I'm busy all day long every day without ever really accomplishing anything.

But I have accomplished one big thing these past few months. I've taken my one-foot-in-front-of-the-other approach to the treadmill. While I feel like I've been running full speed in life, I've been pacing at more of a jog on the treadmill. A jog of 4.3 mph at a 3 percent incline. But to me, this is an achievement.

As dumb as it sounds, running is one of those things I've always told myself I couldn't do. I'd given myself so many excuses that I'd come to believe them.

And over Thanksgiving, when I was away from a gym for a whole week, I got restless. I decided I had to learn to run.

I made the decision for many reasons, but mostly it was that I was tired of telling myself I couldn't do it. So when I got back to my gym, I hopped on the treadmill with the intention to walk for two minutes and then run for two minutes, alternating between the two.

And then I hit minute 11 of running straight, and I realized I really could do this. When I felt like I couldn't go on, I just told myself to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

I'm running a 5k in February, and then maybe I'll spring for a 10k after that. I'm doing it. I feel good. I feel accomplished. And I feel like so many of the other little failures in life fade away after I've pushed myself through a good run at the end of a shitty day.

Either way, all it takes is putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes it's baby steps, sometimes it's a full-speed run. All that really matters is that I continue to give myself credit just for sticking with it.

Because really, it's just about not quitting.

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