Nearly three years ago I decided, “What if I ran at least a mile every day?”
See my reflections on year one and year two.
Yesterday I slipped into my shoes and trotted around the neighborhood. I’d now run 1,000 days in a row.
Why Running Every Day Is Important To Me (and what it can mean to you)
I’ve been running since junior high and ran competitively in college. When I was a financial advisor, I fell out of practice, letting work get in the way of my health. Now, I’m fifty pounds heavier and often get the comment, “You don’t look like a runner.” That’s code for “Why aren’t you in better shape if you run every day, fat ass?”
I get it.
The first lesson? Don’t get out of shape in the first place. It’s hard as hell to get it back. Brittany Spears and I both know that….
But lots of tasks are hard, aren’t they. I tell myself that I could never read or floss every day. Too hard!
So that’s why I decided to run daily. It’s a reminder that I can do anything if I want, and BIG measures can come from taking little steps. Running 3264 miles in 1000 days isn’t really a ton. that’s just over three miles a day….and many days it took about fifteen minutes to finish my “mandatory mile.”
But man, it taught me a ton:
- You CAN cover lots of ground in little, repeatable chunks.
- You DON’T have to start out as an expert. You’ll become one over time.
- You FIND little wins build on each other.
- You PROVE to yourself that anything is possible.
- You LEARN that repeating a task makes it easier.
I’ve been running long enough to know that my body needs rest. I’ve heard the whispered criticism from nay-sayers, “That isn’t healthy.”
I’ll disagree. I run about a 7:15/mile pace during races. On my “off days” I’ll trot a mile around 11-minute pace, enjoying a podcast, the noises around me….the outside. It’s time out of my office….and nearly a walk. It’s recharge the batteries time. I’m relaxed and comfortable.
But more than that, it’s a healthy, always developing symbol. This is a task I NEED to do NOW. Every day I have to make time for running. There’s no “maybe tomorrow.” If this is going to work, I have to get my ass out on the street and do it. TIME is a factor. It “can’t wait until later.” I can’t “not feel like it.”
We do that with our money, don’t we? We say:
- I’ll ask for the raise later
- I’ll do that client work tomorrow
- “Maybe” I’ll download that budgeting app
- “I wish” I had more money
- “Someday” I’ll take the leap to a career I enjoy
Here’s the cherry on top.
Every day I succeed is another reason that I can’t quit. Success makes me take it seriously. I could probably stop running today, but for what? Because I just “don’t feel like going?” That’s not a good enough reason. I went out there 1,000 days in a row. You think I’m going to quit now? It can’t happen.
So, hurray to little successes! I’ve had 1,000 of them in a row with this milestone.
DC @ Young Adult Money
Holy crap this is seriously impressive, Joe! Kudos to you for covering all that ground. I’m starting to think more and more that “life is simply too short” to make excuses. Why NOT today???? Or why not this month???
I’m thinking that right now with my book. I tell my coach, “I’ll start it after….” and there’s a neverending line of stuff that I MUST DO before I start. Sigh. Time to change that, too….
Thias @ It Pays Dividends
Joe – As I said before, this is a crazy accomplishment! I could barely go more than one day in a row during half marathon training (and I definitely wasn’t training so hard that I couldn’t!). Shows a lot of mental toughness, which I definitely need to work on!
Wow! Very impressive. Shows once again that any monumental task can be tackled if we just focus on–literally in your case–taking one step at a time. Congratulations!
Ha! You’re right….literally a step…. I think it was Tony Robbins who said that most people don’t finish the daily to-do list, but because we don’t set year-long goals that we bite off a little every day, we fail to get the major things done.
Heather @ simplysave
Impressive!!! I need to get my butt into gear. I hate running and the idea of starting hurts to even think about, but breaking it down a mile at a time feels less overwhelming. I’m feeling inspired and may need to give this a try! And the connection to financial decisions….so true!
What’s funny is that we even did this same concept (we being my friends and I) when we trained for early marathons. We’d run for seven minutes and walk a minute. Instead of concentrating on the LONG mileage runs we were doing, we’d just focus on the next seven minutes. Many people can run seven minutes in a row several times. It really made 26 miles MUCH more easy.
Wow! That is a huge accomplishment & very inspiring. I know what you mean about the “you don’t look like..” comments 🙂
That’s a huge success! Having the willpower to stick with it for 1000’s days is very inspiring.
Nice job!! I like the mantra you are throwing down here. Its easier to say I’ll start tomorrow than to start today 🙂
That is a great milestone man! Keep it up. The tortoise always beats the hare! Love the mentality!
I’m completely the tortoise, so that’s gonna have to be my MO!