I have a complicated relationship with running. I've dabbled over the years but never fully committed because in truth, I don't like it. Even as a child, although an excellent sprinter and insanely fit, I hated long-distance running. So I avoided it and played sports instead.
Somehow a life-long aversion to going for a run didn't stop me adding a running-related challenge to my 100 things. I read somewhere that it takes 30 days to make a habit stick so I challenged myself to run every day for 30 days, just to see.
Well this was easy enough to declare over 700 days ago when it seemed like an age until I would actually have to do it. Today marks six months until the final day of my 100 things challenge; the final stretch of these 900 days. Now with less than 200 days to go, I have to accept it's only going to get harder as winter sets in, so today was the day.
Well Day #1 anyway. Of 30! And my mind is trying to freak me out because it is this ego-mind that created the complication in the first place. The following are a snapshot of the things my ego says to me when running or contemplating running: 'This is really hard', 'Running is really bad for your knees - why do you want to ruin you knees?', 'You hate running', 'You're not good at running', 'Running is boring.' This last one is particularly sneaky because my cunning ego is trying to convince me that running is a waste of my time. This is obviously a lie.
Somehow in a difficult yoga class I can find the strength to challenge my ego and push through the struggle but it has always been that much harder with running. As if the years of a dis-functional relationship with running has instilled a strength in my ego's lies.
So I have committed to at least 30 days, no matter what. My husband who is an excellent (marathon) runner has asked that I consider only running a very limited distance a couple of times a week, to effectively create 'rest' days, which is sensible, but still every day I will fight my ego's chat and prove it wrong. As my beautifully wise yoga teach said 'If you're body needs to stop, it will.' Your ego does not need to be involved and that is what frightens it.
Maybe I'll never be a passionate runner, not everyone is. As long as you are exercising, each to his own right? But I'm hoping if I can persevere for a month that I'll at least give my body a chance to find out if I can actually enjoy making running a part of my routine.
If you're a runner please let me know what you love about your run. I'd love to be inspired. If you're a little bit more like me but you've overcome your doubts and challenges let me know what helped you - I definitely need all the help I can get.