Wednesday is the day that I work for my husband’s ice carving business.  It’s nice because I get to sleep a little later, and the schedule is not as demanding.  I was excited this morning because I was planning to run to work.  The shop is about two and a half miles from our home, so that’s a nice, easy run.  I haven’t been running much lately because it has been so hot.  And I think my house has an infestation of excuses.  Even when I want to go running, an excuse pops out of my sock drawer, or crawls out from under the bathroom sink, and then I don’t go running.  It’s too hot; I played soccer with my nieces and nephews (and that’s exercise!); I had to mow the grass (cross-training, right?).  These are the excuses that need to be exterminated.

When I got out of bed this morning, I put my running clothes on.  For me, the clothes are the best excuse exterminator there is.  If I put on the running clothes, it’s almost a sure bet that I’ll go running.  When I come home from my doctors’ office job, if I put on the running clothes immediately, then I’ll run.  But if I sit down first, or have to go on an errand, or do anything else, I most likely will skip the run for the day.  I’m not sure why, but the clothes are definitely a motivator.

So I had on my tank top and running shorts (which are actually very old Umbro soccer shorts that Stephan grew out of and I grew into) this morning by 8:15.  I had to do the dishes that had been piling up, and I toasted an English muffin for myself and for Chef.  He was going to drive to the shop, so I packed a small bag of things he’d take for me (different clothes, a bottle of water, my phone, and some sunscreen).  As I went to the hooks by the front door to get the bag to put it all in, I saw a runner pass my house.  That was encouraging.  It’s always good to see other runners.  When I’m about to run, seeing a runner feels like an extra boost that gets me out the door.  When I’m in my car, it makes me want to put on my running shoes when I get home.  When it’s snowing or freezing or raining or miserably hot and I see a runner, I am impressed with their dedication and reminded that I have that dedication, too.  Sometimes.  And as I stood there, looking out the front door, I saw another runner, and another.  I realized it must be the Smalltown Cross Country team training for their fall season.  Then I was really impressed!  These teenagers were up early on a summer day, running in the heat and humidity.  Wow.  I never would have done such a thing in high school.  On the other hand, I spent my high school summers memorizing dance steps, practicing harmonies, and putting on costumes and makeup for the theatre productions I was in each year.  I guess you put in your dedication to the things you love.

It took me five years to love running.  I started running in about 1999, but it wasn’t until much later that I actually started enjoying it.  And now, some of my friends, co-workers, and acquaintances think I’m crazy or amazing or truly dedicated when I’m training for a half marathon or running in the snow or altering my schedule to get in a run.  But I love it.  Just like I will do whatever I can to spend time with Chef because I love him, I will make sacrifices in other areas so that I can keep running.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. rita
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 20:57:08

    That was so beautiful! You ’bout moved me to tears!
    I so understand the prolific excuses and I most certainly lack your dedication to the sport. I need to make another running date with myself or someone, or need a definite goal.
    Thanks, Karen, your writing is inspirational!

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