When the morning arrives, as I wipe the sleep from my eyes and think about the day ahead, the idea of running is less and less inviting. The other plans for my day start to feel bigger. The idea of running feels more like a luxury of self care I can’t afford. I vacillate back and forth if I will or I won’t, until most days I finally force myself to lace up my tennis shoes. I start slow. My legs feel heavy, my breathing is choppy, and I contemplate several times of turning back home as I consider maybe today just isn’t my day.
I focus on my breath, meditate with the rhythm of my my feet hitting the pavement. I breath in for three strides and out for two.
Eventually my breathing is less labored, I start to flush out the heaviness in my legs and my feet touch the pavement with more of rhythmic pattern.
Running rarely feels easy. It never starts out smooth, and usually requires challenges to overcome. Whether the run felt challenging the entire time or just in the beginning, I always finish feeling renewed and grateful for the time well spent.
Writing feels the same. The idea of a well written piece and the satisfaction upon completion is a lure that feels so inviting in the abstract. But as with running, when the time approaches to begin the adventure, the act feels less attractive. It feels like a luxury of time I cannot afford to spend. It feels squeezed with the priorities of other ways to spend my time. I dread the feeling of heaviness and choppiness that are inevitable in the beginning. I feel afraid of finding myself midway through, and wanting to quit.
But just as I force my fingers to lace up my tennis shoes, I force my fingers to touch key after key with an initial choppy and awkward pace. Until eventually, the words touch the screen with a fluidity and smoothness that only comes with perseverance, discipline and the knowledge we can only finish if we dare to start.