You leave your house with a little uncertainty – not really sure why you left to go run – but you've plotted out a schedule and dammit you need to hit those numbers to feel properly trained for your race.
So there you are, you start running. It feels completely foreign, disconnected. Stiff as a board. You're moving forward, but not engaged. Breathing heavy, legs feel like shit, your pace is choppy and your head is somewhere else. You mumble…
"Why the fuck am I running today?"
Isn't that weird? But you love running, right? There's no rational answer to give yourself, so you keep going, building the momentum.
I know for sure I'm not the only one that has felt this way throughout their time as a runner.
The terrain becomes less than ideal for foot placements. Rocks and roots force you to change your stride. A toe bumps a rock and you catch yourself before tripping, realizing that you need to pay attention or you'll end up on the ground.
Then it happens. Something clicks. Something in your mind has picked up on your surroundings. You're focused on what you're doing. You move like the wind and each stride feels simple - even uphill. You're relaxed, breath is easy. And dammit-all if you didn't crack a smile.
"I swear, doing this sucked 10 minutes ago…"
Wait… where did that mental change happen? How can I go from feeling so unmotivated and rigid, to childlike and bouncy? How did I change my mind?
– Was it the surroundings? Nearly tripping? The breathing? The moving? Perhaps that I needed to pay more attention. Maybe it's the fresh air? Is it the constant feeling of unfettered earth under my feet? – Likely all of those combined. A body in motion changes everything.
The novelist, Nora Jones recently stated – and I feel this relates entirely to any lifestyle – "I feel very strongly writing is a habit, is as much as an art, or a craft. And if you write crap you're still writing. You can fix that, but if you walk away then you've broken the habit. – It's like this: there are 88 keys on a piano, but do you run out of music?"
Consistent motions make us who we are. They define us. For instance - right now - I'm a writer. I've never been a writer, nor did I ever believe that I would write as much as I do (same to be said about running). When I started this article it was full of backspacing and hesitation. I knew what I wanted to do, but I lacked the simple momentum. I needed to simply place one word after the other and here we are.
You could take both of the above quotes and reuse them with how I felt about writing this article. Once the momentum begins, it snowballs. The change is both physical and mental.
When it comes down to it, the only thing to do is begin. Just hang on for the ride and go. It may not be pretty, nor will it always start out that great, but you've begun and thats where things change.