Nearly three years ago I decided, “What if I ran at least a mile every day?”
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.