When people tell me that they admire my dedication and willpower for getting out to go run, I smile and then I feel grateful that they can’t hear what goes on inside my head before I actually get out to run. Don’t get me wrong. I love to run. I adore it. It makes my day, it makes me happy, it empties my head and fills my heart. But I also really like my couch and my pajamas. I’ve really tried to be one of those eager morning runners, but…well, see this post.
In the morning when my alarm clock goes off at 6:00 a.m., my inner monologue looks something like this:
Me: Ok, if I get up now, I can go for a run and still have time to make it to work. Ready, body? Let’s go.
Body: That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. It’s warm in bed, cold outside. Hit snooze alarm. All three of them. You can run later.
And then I go back to sleep, placating my gnawing conscience by telling it I will go for a run in the afternoon and it will be a better run than If I had gone in the morning. It will be warmer and I’ll feel more energized and ready to get out and exercise. Then in the afternoon, after I’ve had the entire day to think about going out for a run, the inner monologue starts up again.
Me: Time to get ready to go for a run!
Body: It’s kind of cold. I don’t really want to go outside.
Me: That’s what running tights and Hello Kitty Arm Warmers are for!
Body: I feel kind of sluggish today.
Me: You’ll feel better once you’re outside.
Body: There was a tinge in my calf. I just felt it. I shouldn’t run. I’ll injure myself.
Me: It’s fine. We’ll just stretch it out.
Body: Running every day isn’t good for you. Maybe you should just eat this donut instead.
Me: Get the f@#& outside right now!
Body: You’re a real jerk, you know that.
And then after five minutes running:
Body: ZOMG WE ARE RUNNING! I LOVE RUNNING! RUNNING IS THE BEST! RUN ALL THE HILLS!
And then as soon as I start actually running up a hill, my body once again feels the need to provide commentary about how stupid running is and how I should walk or maybe take up something less strenuous like mini-golf, for example.
When I get to the top of the hill, standing on a ridge, looking out over San Francisco across the Bay with the Berkeley hills behind me, the sun is setting and I’m just rejoicing at the opportunity to be there in that moment, enjoying the spectacular beauty of the Bay Area.
Every run it’s the same routine. I don’t know if I have good willpower. I’m just really good at arguing with myself. And for that reason, I am really happy nobody else has access to my inner monologue.