Monday, September 8, 2008

Running is Boring. So What?

This morning as I was jogging along a dark neighborhood street wondering if I really would ever be attacked by some madman like two women at my gym tell me every week that I will, and trying to figure out what to write about in this blog today, I came upon a realization: running is boring.

I've always known that running is boring but this morning it just struck me. I'm running down a sidewalk by myself, I thought. This is so boring. At least if I was attacked by a madman, it would liven up my morning run.

Then I arrived at the gym, still wondering what to write about in this blog, and swigged water as I impatiently waited for my trainer to unlock the door, then jumped on the treadmill to start my intervals. This was a lot more interesting. I made it thirteen minutes before I wanted to die. A new record!

Then we moved on to weights. We have a new person lifting with us on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Her first day was Friday and she expressed some doubt as to her ability to keep up with me and Jim, one of my workout buddies. We joked that we notoriously have people workout with us once and then never see them again (although it's not really a joke, it's true). She laughed nervously but after our workout said she would be back Monday. She did come back, and today we kicked her butt. Afterwards she said it was a lot harder than she thought it would be, and I told her that was the point. She said she'd be back Wednesday.

It got me to thinking about an article I read a few weeks ago about Olympian Michael Phelps, which had this quote from his trainer: "successful people make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don't want to do." It's the perfect response to the question I field almost every day from someone asking me why I work so hard at something that seems to torment me so much. There are a variety of reasons, most of them related to me not being able to stop myself.

But it is also a good reminder that sometimes, running is boring. Sometimes, workouts are harder than you expect. And sometimes, we just have to suck it up and do it anyway because successful people make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don't want to do. And, life is too short to do things halfway.

Once you decide what you want to be successful at, you have to take the boring days along with the attacked-by-a-madman days, and chalk them up to just being part of the process. Running is boring. So what? Do it anyway.

1 comment:

EDP said...

I love that quote. It's true. Sometimes working out just sucks because it's hard, tedious, exhausting or all three. To which the successful person says, "So what?" Who wouldn't want to sit on the couch instead of go running? (OK, my husband, but he's crazy.) Well done!