Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pushing on

Carolyne Aarsen

I've recently taken up running. I never thought I'd enjoy it as much as I do. What I like the most about it is I can put on my running shoes, step out the door and go at it. I don't need any special equipment, though I have to confess when I saw the fun shirts at The Running Room I decided I 'needed' some of those to go with my new running shoes. Running has opened up whole new wardrobe options!

But it has also given me a good analogy for my writing. What I love the most about running is having done it. Just like what I love the most about writing, is having done it. I feel great when I come into the house after a run - all rejuvenated and healthy - but there are times when I'm running that part of my mind is saying "That's good enough, you've done enough for now, just walk. Besides, you're tired. You need a rest. Tomorrow you can run a bit more." And then I think, really? Am I really that tired? Couldn't I go just a little further NOW? So I go on a bit more and pretty soon here comes that pernicious voice. "That's far enough now. Just stop. You're knees are getting sore and you're running out of breath. You're not a marathon runner and besides, you're not even going that fast." And back and forth it goes. Sometimes I give in, but mostly I realize that I can carry on my knees are not that sore and who cares how fast I'm going besides the Nike app on the iPhone.

Writing is exactly the same thing. I sit down at the computer, open up my file and shortly after I start working I have that same nagging voice badgering me. "You've done enough writing for the day. Take a break. Play Solitaire, Bejewelled, check Facebook, read your e-mail. Tomorrow you can write more." Sometimes I give in, sometimes I push on. And always, always, I feel better when I've pushed on. Always I'm happier when I get up from the computer, with whatever goals I've set for myself, accomplished.

Writing. Running. Both require ignoring this voice that wants me to fall short of what I know I can do. Both require pushing through the resistance. Both are hard to do. But both give me the same sense of satisfaction when I've done what I set out to do.

What about you? Do you have those same voices in your head that drag you away from thing that are hard - things that require pushing through resistance? What do you do about them?

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