I love Running. I love Writing. I hate Running. I hate Writing.
Sometimes, I think I’m a great runner.
Sometime, I think I’m a great writer.
These are rare moments. Most times, like on the treadmill late at night, or sitting at the keyboard with a blank page, I have severe doubts whether I am either one of these things.
Many times, I thought I was going to quit. There were days I couldn’t run a couple of miles, let alone the long runs of 8-10 miles. There were days I was just not up for it.
But somehow, I would tie-up those shoe laces again and just head out, determined to put one foot in front of another. My body would surprise me. My calf, which was knotted up a day before, loosened and felt great. I accelerated on hills. I added the “optional” loop to make my run longer. I came home and did push-ups. These are remarkable days.
So it goes with writing. A lot of what gets put on the page is not very good. But by building a habit, the mind is working things out. And then one day, two words come together, sentences form, several pages flow nicely, and then you have a gem of a chapter. Keep at it, and more chapters will come, and then exhausted one day, you’ll look back and you’ll have a book.
I ran the Rutgers Unite Half-Marathon today and it had some great moments, and some hard ones, particular mile 13, right near the end. But when I finished, I looked back on it and thought that wasn’t so bad. Wrapped in a tech blanket, my finish medal sparkling in the light, I knew I was a runner.
Challenging my body and mind, creating goals that seem daunting, this is what inspires me. Often times, the things we love the most, can be the things we find difficult to execute on a daily basis. But in the end, these habits are whittling me into the person I want to become.
A runner. A writer.