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.