Do you ever feel tired and too put out to start something new? I know I often feel that way when it is time to hit the gym or start a challenging chore. I often face that internal struggle where I have to make myself do something even if I don't feel like it right then. I know through the power of deciding that if I can just make myself start, I can finish.
That's how I felt this evening as I prepared to go for a run. I felt lethargic and hungry instead of energized and excited about doing something healthy. I was telling myself that I'd worked a long week and exercised the last three days, but I also knew I had been out a lot the previous weekend and needed to do the right thing and be good to my body.
I found a few things to do to kill some time, like nibbling on a piece of feta cheese. After a little cunctation, I decided to just get into my car and drive to the Katy Trail. The Trail is a lovely place the City of Dallas created to offer a pedestrian path right through town. It is landscaped and full of runners, bikers, walkers and skaters. The atmosphere itself makes me feel more like running.
So I drove over and reluctantly parked my car. I put on my boogie dance music playlist and started at mile marker zero. I promised myself at least 5k. That's my bare minimum for a run, and I more often than not, stick to it. I've been running a little more lately with friends and feeling challenged to step it up a bit, so I said, I'll go to mile marker two, and I can walk the last half mile or so back. I made that commitment to myself, and I would keep it. I just know myself too well. I want to see if I can run all four miles, even when I don't feel like it.
I started and warmed up after the first mile. In Dallas' 90 degree springtime afternoons, it's quite easy to break a sweat. So sweat I did, but I continued on. To make things more ineresting, I decided to put my timer on to see how long it takes me to run a mile–just barely over 10 minutes! For my little five foot three frame, that's not too bad.
I ran and checked every quarter-mile marker and finally approached the goal, the two-mile marker which set the halfway mark for my run. I hit the lap button on my timer as my foot graced the two-mile mark, and I turned around headed for home. By this point I was feeling very warmed up. To keep things interesting, I decided to run intervals on the way back. I sprinted for a bit and slowed for a bit. I did this back and forth for the next mile feeling good about increasing my heart rate.
It's funny how when you're thinking about sprinting, you forget the lethargy youfelt before you began. In no time, I had reached mile marker zero again and made my way to my car after a few enticing stretches. While I was on this run I thought the hardest part was starting. Once I started, I knew I could finish.
This lesson carries over to so many things we put off like housework, washing the car, shopping, studying or anything we don't feel like doing right away. Through the power of deciding it's possible to finish anything if you can just start and stick to it. You can!