Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 261 - No Shortcuts

Most of the time, when you try a shortcut, you break even. You hit unexpected traffic, miss a light, or it's just not really shorter.

Sometimes a shortcut pays off. Maybe you come to an intersection. You want to turn right at the corner. Cars are way backed up. To your immediate right is a church parking lot that also happens to let out on the street that you want to turn on to anyway. A quick, opportunistic trip through the parking lot, taking the hypotenuse, saves distance and time. No harm.

But there are some shortcuts that seem harmless, or we convince ourselves are harmless, but they cost us in the end.

For example, say that you don't really care much for stretching. So you skip stretching, just a day or two. What's the harm? You'll stretch extra tomorrow.

You survive that unscathed, so you skip a little more often. No harm in that.

And maybe your stretching habit turns into a not-stretching habit.

Thing is, this isn't a short cut. It feels like a short cut. You get to lunch sooner, or out of your sweaty clothes sooner, or plopped in front of the TV sooner.

But it's not a short cut as much as a loan. You're borrowing from your future. And there's interest to pay.

If I don't stretch after my run, I'll be extra stiff tomorrow. Who am I kidding? I'll be extra stiff in a couple hours. I'll be uncomfortable. I won't run well. I might even be sore.

And if I keep taking these loans, the interest piles up, and tightness and soreness becomes injury... like really sore heels.

And the interest payment might even require you to sit with your legs in a bucket of ice water for 20 minutes while you write a stupid blog entry about how you always end up paying big for not doing what you know you should.

Ok, so you're shortcut might not be skipping stretching. Maybe you skip a run, or a workout. Or maybe you skip this week's check of your budget status. Or maybe you put off [Fill in the blank with something you know you should do but don't really want to do] tomorrow.

Think long and hard before you skip. Don't let it become a habit.

Immediate short-term gain for deferred suck is a bad trade.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.1 miles on sidewalks and streets.