Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rule of 5s

I have a confession... I don't like running very much right now.

There, I said it. Out load. You couldn't hear that part, but right after I said it, I typed it, so you'd know.

As a lover of running, and a long-time evangelist for the benefits of the running lifestyle, that's hard to admit.

For lots of reasons I won't bore you with, I'm rebooting my running. That means I'm running infrequently. And slow.

I'm also trying to redo my running form, which means that when I do run, it feels awkward, unnatural, like my shoes are on the wrong feet.

When I know I have to run, I dread it. What used to be life affirming, endorphin injecting, jolly offing, is a chore. A chore that lately is done in the inhumane cold under gray skies that have puppies contemplating suicide.

As 11:30 approached, I could feel my butt getting more stuck to the chair. My brain was leafing through its manila folder of sure-fire excuses. My legs were getting heavier by the second.

By noon, I was this damn close (for visual effect, hold a thumb and forefinger (works best if they are on the same hand) extremely close together about an inch from one of your eyes) to giving in to inertia and putting the run off to a mythical, perfect day dozens of procrasti-hours in the future.

Then, a blurb that my good friend Bill sent me saved the day, or at least the run. Bill told me that he'd been reading something by Donald Miller that posed the question:
"Where do you see yourself in five years if you change absolutely nothing?"
My guess is that most of us don't like the version of ourselves projected out 5 years having made no progress, on anything. Ok, maybe there's one or two of you out there who are living the prefect life, and doing it perfectly, but for the rest of us, a question like this is a wake-up call.

We can have all the good ideas and the best intentions, but if we don't actually do something, nothing is gonna change.

Anyway, as I sat in my chair, that damn question popped into my head. And then, as it bounced around in there, it morphed it a bit. I asked myself:
"How much better is your running gonna feel 5 days from now if you spend that time sitting on your ass?"
"How much fitter will you be if you continue to skip runs over the next 5 months?"
"What will your physical, mental, emotional health be like 5 years from now if you aren't running?"
Yeah, that got my ass out of the chair.

And even on the run, a couple miles in when was feeling unnatural and awkward, I asked myself:
"How much closer will you be to the showers in 5 minutes if you stop running now?"
In increments of five minutes, 5 days, 5 months, 5 years, everything we do, or don't do, adds up. That's the Rule of 5s. Every 5 matters.

Make the most of those 5s, and see where it gets you.

Good running,
Doug

PS - Don Miller is also the author of a fantastic book (below) that I highly recommend. Though beware, it might change your life.