What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

29 January 2018

All the Steps

How do you start something when you don't really wanna?

This has been a thing for me for my entire running life. I'd almost always rather have run than not, and once I start running, I'm usually happy in the moment and willing to continue. I'm just challenged by getting started. The first step is the worst one.

So even at the best of times, I don't feel like starting, and a few hours after watching Roger Federer's Australian Open win at an unholy time of day is not my best of times. The only way I talked myself outside was by deciding to change up my route to include the city steps to add a bit of interest and pain, I guess.

This picture is not from my run. It's from my walk to church
yesterday morning. But it's outside, so here you go.
By the way, those aren't storm clouds. The fog was very
thick yesterday morning. I was trying to capture it,
without a lot of success.
It went like this: my legs complained about being stiff from running the day before, and I told them to give it a few blocks. Then other parts of me wanted to just give it up and head home, and I reminded myself that I was going this way to enjoy the city steps and to turn around before I reached them would defeat the purpose. Then it was, "I'll get all to the 1-mile mark and see how I feel." After that, I reminded myself that I was headed toward the downtown bus plaza, so I could always run along the riverfront and bus home instead of turning around and going back up the steps. I talked myself through three miles' worth of running until all that was left to do was decide whether I was really going to tackle the steps in my worn-out state. 

I did, because I was so close to home at that point it would have been silly to get on a bus instead of pushing through the final mile. Lo and behold, I pep-talked myself through four miles one tiny bit at a time, and my reward was the post-run feeling of accomplishment that I wish I could bottle for days when the first step feels like jumping over a building.

Some days, one tiny bit at a time is the best any of us can expect from ourselves. Whatever great things lie down the road, we'll never get there if we can't get through what's right in front of us. By telling ourselves that we just need to do this next thing and not thinking about the hundred things that follow. By giving ourselves permission to take a break when necessary. By knowing that we'll get there when we get there.

One step, then another, until it's done.

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