May 10, 2011

Do Hard Things

I've done something this year that I am really proud of.

I am not, by nature, what most people would call "highly motivated." I am not lazy. I like to do things well, I meet goals, and I know the importance of diligence. But given the opportunity to avoid doing something difficult, I will typically take it and run. That's not to say I never make responsible decisions, but for most of my life I've lived under this philosophy: If you don't enjoy something, don't do it! While this may not be all wrong, I have learned (maybe a little later than most other adults) that sometimes growing up means that you just have to do hard things.

I distinctly remember having a conversation with my husband Tim several years ago about working hard. He was describing how, during track practice in college, runners would often end up vomiting after a particularly hard workout. Immediately I thought to myself "If you are running so hard that you're blowing chunks, then you are definitely working too hard..." I realized some time later that I had never actually put that much effort into anything in my life. And I'm not talking about working for many hours on an English paper and getting an 'A'. I'm talking about a lifestyle of self-discipline. I didn't really know the reward that comes from a good old-fashioned blood-sweat-and-tears kind of pursuit. It was not because I wanted to be a slacker, or I was scared of a challenge, or I was too lazy to get involved. It was because I became comfortable reaching for whatever was somewhat enjoyable and no more than an arm's length away.

Now, hear me correctly: there is nothing wrong with finding yourself a place in life and being satisfied. But there is a big difference between being satisfied and being complacent. I have always been pretty satisfied with my life, but that's mostly because if something looked kind of difficult or had the possibility of getting in the way of something fun, I would usually steer clear.

So I decided a few months ago that it was time for a challenge. Now don't laugh at me when I explain this, because I realize that in the grand scheme of life, this is kind of minuscule. But at the beginning of this year I decided that I was going to run. Nothing groundbreaking, but it was a big deal to me because I knew it was not going to be fun. I knew it was going to require me to work hard. And it did. Don't ask Tim how many times I fussed about getting out of bed on a Saturday morning to drive to the gym, or how often I compiled a list of all the other more-fun things I could think of doing than going for a run. But I ran anyway. And this is the part that makes me want to fist pump like Tiger Woods: I am still running anyway! I'm not super fast, and I don't run crazy far, but I do find so much joy in the accomplishment. I am learning to make a habit of doing something that is hard for me. And this is a really big deal for Melody Fritson.

P.S Check back later this week for more running info and a few tips for beginner runners like me!

No comments:

Post a Comment