Have you ever DNS'd a race? Not for an injury, but just woke up one morning, and said, F---it, I'm not running?
A few years ago, I worked with a physician who was also a runner. He offered to run a 10 mile race with me. Since we worked alternating Saturdays, he pulled strings to get us both the day off, so we could run this race together. I picked up our race packets. On race day morning, it was 40 degrees and pouring rain. But knowing that I was going to meet him at the race, I didn't give it a second thought. I drove into the city and waited for him. Twenty minutes before the start, there was still no sign of him. I called him, and it was clear to me that I woke him up. He told me that he decided not to come. I hung up on him.
Who does that, not show up to a race when you've committed to someone?
Oh, yeah, that guy.
What if that someone is yourself?
I used to be that person. Before I started running, I was that person who would call in sick at the drop of a hat. I would make plans with people and cancel at the last minute. Commitments? I wasn't good at them. Don't count on me. I used to DNS on life.
Running changed all that. I started making sure I got my runs in, and interestingly, committing to myself to run made me more reliable in other areas of my life. I went from someone that you couldn't count on to someone who was there when I said I would be.
It didn't happen overnight, but I started to notice that if I didn't get up to run, I had a bad day. I would get mad at myself for missing a run. I didn't like that feeling. And eventually, I really didn't like the feeling of letting people down. No matter what it was--work, dinner, you name it.
I especially didn't like the feeling of letting myself down.
I can see how easy it would be to fall into the pattern of blowing off your runs.
So many excuses:
It's cold, it's hot.
It's raining, it's snowing.
The baby cried all night.
Your spouse snored all night.
Your legs are tired.
Your tummy is funky.
Your feet hurt.
You have to work early in the morning.
You worked late last night.
You had too much to drink.
You had too much to eat.
You just don't feel like going.
And in case you were wondering, yep, I've had all these reasons not to run.
But I get up and go. It's not always easy. In fact, most often it's a tough sell. I push myself out the door. I push myself through a dark run, tough run, a tough workout. I've run before the sun. In the bitter cold of winter, in the blazing heat of summer. I've outrun skunks and coyotes. I've dodged lightning bolts, and I've run in a blizzard. It's not always picture perfect and it's not always fun. I've tripped over cracks in the sidewalk. Dodged into the trees to take care of nature's call. But I don't quit. I finish what I've started.
Because I've made a commitment.
I don't ever want to be that person again.
I don't want to be that person that you can't count on.
I don't want to be a quitter.
If I can't count on myself, who can?
Have noticed the positive effects of running in other areas of your life?
I'm linking up with DebRuns who hosts this awesome Wednesday Word linkup! This week's word is Commitment. Make sure you check out what everyone else says about commitment!