It’s often said that we don’t run because it’s easy, we run because it is hard. It’s those moments when your legs are heavy and your motivation is ebbing when you have to really dig deep to make it happen that makes it all worth while. Getting back from a hard run you didn’t really want to do is a rewarding experience where you feel as if you have achieved. At the moment for me it’s a bit of a struggle, but it’s not just the running that I’m struggling with. Everything seems a little bit harder at the moment, my blogging has become a chore, there are emails I need to catch up on and work is just plain irritating. I don’t know if it’s the weather or if it’s something else. I have a few side projects which I don’t seem to have time for and that just adds to the sense of struggle. I’ll hold my hands up though. I am my own worst enemy, over the weekend when I could have been doing other things I sat and played hours of Fallout New Vegas on my Playstation. I love a good game but really there were more productive things I could have, in fact should have, been doing. I found myself trekking the Mojave desert instead.
In some ways running is the easy fix here, my body and brain are so conditioned to run that I can get up in the morning and go out without even thinking about what I am doing. Before I have even woken up properly on a Wednesday I can be pounding the streets, though to be fair this week I went out on Wednesday after work. The principle is the same though, brain off, out running. The trouble is my life is arranged in such a way that it is difficult to turn off the brain in order to do other productive things. For instance as soon as I got in from work on Wednesday I got changed to go for the 8 miles my infamous training plan told me to do it. I was warned by the wife “It’s hot out there I really don’t think you should be running in this weather” (after all this time she still doesn’t get it) before I could get out the door. How easy it would have been to stay at home, but I have a plan to stick the fuck to. Similarly I confess one of the reasons I am able to be so consistent with my blogging is that my IRL job has periodic moments of down time, and when that happens the tablet comes out and I get on with my blog. Over the last few weeks, when it should have been easier lots of extra stuff has been thrown at me and my usual 2-3 hours of writing time a week has been eaten away by seemingly pointless ‘busy’ work. Making time to write at home is hard, the distractions are great and the environment not best suited to it.
Still I’m not here to moan and I cannot deny my own role in this funk, at home I think
about what I need to be doing and the PS3 comes on. I started blogging by applying the same ‘just do it’ approach I had to running. Set a target for the week and stick to it. The quality does not always have to be perfect but the habit must be maintained and to be fair to myself I have kept this up. Even if I am struggling on a Sunday night to find anything to write about and still deliver a self imposed minimum word count I have always managed to publish something. Always a blog with some vague connection to running once a week, and for a while I was able to keep up 2 articles, with one being almost political. There have also been short stories that make the occasional appearance. One of the things I am beating myself up about is a short story I have ready to do the final edit of and publish. All this is getting hard though, as my time is taken up elsewhere it seems like the mound of stuff I should be doing increases and, the easy slack I can’t be bothered it’s not important attitude grows. It’s not as if my time is being taken up by useful things and that makes me feel worse and the cycle continues.
What I think I really need is to apply the same principles that have worked for my running to my life in general and that means one thing. I need to develop a plan and stick the fuck to it. Stuff to do where I can switch my brain off a bit and just get on with it. Step by step sessions or activities that will keep me on track towards a goal and, whatever time I have left I can use to trawl the post apocalyptic desert. It won’t be easy but, as we said at the beginning it’s the difficult things that make it feel like an achievement in the end.