Monday, July 25, 2011

Impulse

I pride myself on my ability to resist the impulse buy.

I almost never buy anything displayed in the checkout line. Except gum, and that's only because that's where they put gum.

When I need a new pair of jeans, I go to a store and buy jeans, not jeans and a shirt and another shirt and a jacket that looks great in the window with that other shirt that I also don't buy.

I didn't buy even any of the 5 motorcycles I test-rode on Saturday.

It might seem like I have some kind of super anti-mass-marketing discipline. Truth is, one time I had an impulse that seemed like a good idea at the time, so I did it, and almost immediately regretted... for the next 11 years.

Today, tough, just a couple hours ago, I read this blog post from Loving the Run, and within minutes I'd registered for the Big Sur Marathon.

Impulse buy? No. More like carpe-ing the diem.

Since wrapping up my running and writing streak last year, I've been floundering a bit. I've been looking for my next big thing. Well, actually, it's more like I've been waiting for my next big thing to find me. And it hasn't.

This was the kick in the butt I needed:
"Life is short. We need to seize opportunities when they’re presented to us. Ultimately, I believe inaction creates the most regret."
F'in-A, man! It's about time I got off my butt and bought a new motorcycle!

Wait, no, that's not what I meant... heh, heh... "Paging Dr. Freud".

It's about time I took a step toward a new adventure, specifically a running related adventure.

What's been holding me back these past few months? Really, it's pretty simple. The streak went great. It was a tremendously rewarding experience, and ultimately, a huge success, for me. I ran, outside, every day of 2010, and I wrote, every day, in 2010. I learned a lot about myself, what I'm capable of, what I love, what I need to be happy and mentally healthy.

With that success to live up to, I've been hesitant to take on anything else. I'd rationalize ideas away because I wasn't in good enough shape, or the logistics were too messy, or it might cost too much. But at the root of it all, I was afraid I'd fail. I was afraid I'd regret taking it on and not succeeding. But as the post says, inaction creates more regret, more than failure does.*

So I will be working on my bucket list, posting it here when it's ready, of course, and somewhere on there will be Big Sur Marathon, with a big red circle around it. This will be my 11th marathon**, but my first in quite a few years. I don't know if I'll complete it. I don't even know if I'll make it through the training. But that's part of the fun, isn't it?


Get out your bucket list, pick one to cross off, and get on it.

Good running,
Doug

*Note: Be sure to balance the potential regret of inaction with the possibility of long term regret from making a really bad life-long decision. The downside of entering a marathon does not compare to the downside of marrying the wrong person, just as an example (cough).

** Indianapolis, Chicago, Sunburst, Columbus, NYCM, Philly, Twin Cities, Marine Corp, NYCM, Tecumseh

Image from here and here.