Running For Others
I. When left to my own devices I'm rather sedentary –sleep till 10, sit all day, surf the web, trudge through moderate depression. In short, while I posthumously enjoy invigorating exercise, or a solid day's work, I'm much more of a slug than anything. And when I do muster the motivation to take on a massive project, getting off the couch takes more emotional jet fuel than the first fifty feet of a shuttle launch. And yet I find myself getting up earlier and getting more done than ever before.
Not that productivity is everything, or even a good reason.
II. Courtney and I went for a jog the other day, which probably looked something like this. Neither of us have done much running lately (Courtney told me afterward that she hadn't run a complete mile in over 4 years). We both felt like quitting after the first block and a half.
Though my wife is a much healthier eater, and gets out more often than I do, I have a genetic advantage by way of long legs. As a result, I felt a responsibility to pace myself according to her needs.
Knowing that I had an extra breath or two on her, a quarter mile or so into the run I began popping off cheesy motivational lines like, "one foot in front of the other" and an underwhelming, "you can do it" or two. Funny thing was, whenever I did, the searing pain in my lungs subsided.
III. I love molding ideas into something intriguing, rephrasing the unimaginative. I used to think it was for the thing itself, that I simply loved word-smithing (which I do); but when I write items I know won't see the light of day, I just don't seem to care as much. If I sit down to write a song for the heck of it, I don't pour in the same love for the craft and hope for the result.
IV. I feel best about what I'm doing when I think to myself, this might actually help someone. Not that I naturally crave that. On any given day, I make more me based than other based decisions. But the days I push past what comes naturally and get outside myself I end the day much happier, more productive, and far more grateful for the life I have.