Snow. Wind chill in the single digits or worse. Schools are closed. But the sun is out, and the roads are clearing. To Run Or Not To Run, that is the question.
The answer to that question may say a lot about you and why you run. If you run to ease stress, and it has been a stressful week, then yes, it is a good day for a run. If you run because you have made a commitment to get fit and be more healthy, then yes, it is a good day to run. If you run for fun, then yes, it is a good day to run. If you run because people say you can’t or shouldn’t, then yes, it is a good day for a run. If you run because that marathon you completed last month really kicked your butt, and you want to see to it that it does not happen again, then yes, it is a good day for a run.
In fact, as I thought about it, I could not come up with a good reason no to run, even on a day like today. My mind had a counter argument for every excuse I could think of. (Too cold! Add layers, you’ll have a good running story to tell). I suppose that means that my conversion is complete. That, or I am just crazy. Either way, it looks like a lovely day for a run.
The headline was blunt, yet effective: “101 Year Old Man Retires From Running Marathons, Shaming You.” Deadspin.com strikes again. You can always count on them for a good headline, and this one did not disappoint. This was not just another bait of a headline, with no substance to back it up. After reading the story, I wouldn’t say I was shamed, but it did give me another reminder of how flimsy some of my excuses can be.
For example: “I am too old for this.” This guy STARTED running marathons at age 89. He has completed 8 marathons. He still plans to run four hours a day in his “retirement.”
So, as I work my way back into training, it is stories like this that help along the way. Every little bit helps. From cool memes to “shame on you stories” on the internet, I will take my motivation where I can find it. And this article, particularly the last paragraph, provided both a laugh and some shaming inspiration for the day. I’ll admit I have my doubts about his real age. But does it really matter all that much?
Well, its been two weeks since the Walt Disney World Marathon. Things have been a bit hectic around here, so there has not been a lot of time to get those runs in. Rationalizing not running has been easy: “Too Busy,” “Next Race Isn’t Until March,” “Rest & Recovery,” etc. Well, now is time to get back on the horse. The sunshine today actually makes it easier to find the motivation to get back into the swing of things. When I ran across the motivational photo you see here, all those excuses seemed to fade away.
It reminded me about what I thought when I started with running in the first place, after my wife signed us up for a half marathon: Just go. Just go, and see what happens. When you are sitting in your comfortable chair, or lying on the couch, it is easy to come up with excuses for not getting moving. But it never fails. No matter how much I don’t want to run, no matter how much I just want to sit around, I always feel good when I just go. Early into the run I cannot imagine why I didn’t want to run. When I am done with run, I always feel better about myself. Even knowing all that, it is still hard to take that first step, especially after a layoff. However, it is taking that step that makes all the difference. In running or otherwise, that step, and the courage to take it, is what separates those that do, and those that don’t; those that can, and those that can’t.
There have been a lot of times in my life when I have not taken that step. However, every time I have managed to summon the strength to take it, it has led to good things.
I just have to keep reminding myself of that. . .