“Don’t look at your Fitbit,” I kept telling myself. “Just wait for it to buzz, you can do this, Hadley.” I knew I wasn’t a mile in yet, it’s that first mile, where my legs are trying to get the muscles to attach to the fat, to bind with the bones and connect to the joints and be one in each leg. I don’t know if that’s what happens in the human body when we run, but that’s what I picture takes three quarters of a mile for my body to do. “.64 of a mile? What the actual hell?”
I looked, I did, but I wasn’t sure if it was working, clearly I had to be at that mile marker already! But I wasn’t. So I set a goal, technically, I set the semi-goal before I started my run. “Today’s going to be 4 miles,” I told myself. In case you were wondering, yes, I do actually talk this much to myself each and every time I run. “But, if you go up to Woodway and to Sage, and that is only like 3.5, that’s okay too”.
The roads were listening, they knew it was 4.5 roundtrip. But I wasn’t going to give the roads that satisfaction. I was going to give what I said I would give, 4, and no more.
I’m sharing this antidote because it seems I do this a lot lately, and not just with running. I push through running because I know I am lucky enough to have a body capable of doing it. I have a mind, however, that has as the saying goes, a mind of its own. So, I tell myself, keep going. Go until the end of this block, now to the end of this song, make it to the mile. Then I will feel my body take flight, not like Usain Bolt flight, but like a glider plane flight. It feels effortless for that second mile, slow, gliding along, but effortless. Then…”2.92? What the hell? That didn’t last a mile?”
So I give myself goals, again. We can do this, we can get through this if we just keep moving. When you find things aren’t attaching, it’s not going smoothly, the muscle isn’t attaching to the fat isn’t attaching to the bones isn’t attaching to the joints…give yourself a break. When the AC breaks and the car battery dies, tackle one thing at a time. The virtual school or event has a glitch and the audio doesn’t match up with the lips that are speaking, just keep moving. Give yourself a goal to make it to the next break, or to the end of the day. Try again.
Sometimes, on these runs, I have to stop running, to catch my breath, to walk around in circles and I have to constantly stop beating myself up for doing that, because I let my mind win that battle. I think. But all I know…is that I get to keep moving, at whatever pace and I can try again.