I did it! I registered for Rhody Run – a 12k in Port Townsend every May, and my first organized run/race in roughly 12 years. (I’ll be running; some others will be racing.) So why is this newsworthy? Deserving of exclamation points? Because it is evidence of a small victory in the ongoing argument with the persistent voice in my head telling me not to bother.
I just started running again a few weeks ago. Running and I have had an off-and-on relationship for years although to be fair for the last eight or so it’s been mostly off, except for the occasional fling. Last fall an especially beautiful day called me to lace up my shoes and I was pleasantly surprised when a couple weeks passed and then a couple months and I was still heading out. Alas, December hit and a potent mix of freezing weather, a crazy work schedule, and a winter bug sent us our separate ways. I flirted with the idea of getting back to it a few times over the winter, but it didn’t actually happen until a few weeks ago.
Just like last fall, the first couple times it was easy to get out the door and immediately rewarding. I returned feeling good for the exertion and fresh air and thinking, “hey, I enjoy that and it makes me feel better. I should do that more often.” And just as quickly, the voice in my head launched a sabotage campaign. I’d think, “oh, I should go for a run today.” And I would literally hear, “Or not. Just because you should doesn’t mean you have to. Maybe you’d rather sit and knit.” I found myself pulling my running clothes out of my closet thinking, “I wanted to go just a minute ago. Why am I suddenly overcome by the feeling that it’s just too hard, and I’m just too tired?”
I’ve been trying to be more aware of that voice in my head recently, trying to be more wary of it, to talk back to it.
When it occurred to me that the Rhody Run was coming up, it seemed like an ideal fit (distance, timing, location). Then I visited the registration site, saw that I could wait to register until the day before with no financial penalty, and backed away quietly. It took a few more runs to realize that it was the same voice whispering, “you can do it later” and “maybe you should wait and see if you’ll really be strong enough”.
When I did register, I was a little caught off guard to find my heart was pounding, evidence of the small act of courage that easy online transaction represented – courage to defy that voice of doubt, to eliminate the opportunity for negotiation. So while I’m on a roll, I’m letting you all know, too: for at least the next seven weeks, running is on the schedule. I’m tired of arguing with the jerk in my head about it.