I adore pancakes, which no-one would think odd unless they’re weird. Because pancakes are … well, they’re pancakes, they speak for themselves.
Also, they have little to do with this post other than while typing, I was thinking about how good they sound, probably because I cannot. get. enough. to. eat. lately. I’m attributing that to my recent increase in running since I’m currently getting ready for a half-marathon. Even Jodi has noticed, remarking last night that it’s good we know pregnancy is an absolute impossibility. And it is. I mean, if God decided to send a second Messiah, I do think it’s possible he’d pick lesbian parents but I’m not so sure it would be us, mostly me. After all, I do take His name in vain quite a lot, among other habitual sins – like gluttony with the pancakes and the coveting of Michelle Obama’s arms. Plus, even God knows, no house could handle both the Messiah and the Divine Miss M … interpret that as you will.
But back to my point – which I think was motivation. Yeah, motivation and running, something about that applying to all aspects of life and also, M said I talked like Dr. Seuss … how did that go?
I started with mentioning how much I hate running. Hate. It. I have to drag myself, kicking and screaming, whining and procrastinating out the door before every single run. It never seems to matter how awesome my last run was, the next run day, it’s the whining and the dragging. Last week, I realized the hill I used to dread on my five-mile route isn’t as hard anymore, and that was a great feeling. But not enough to overcome the perpetual fight with myself the next day to get back out there. Also, no matter what pre-run routine I try – that first mile is always a b*tch. Even though I know my second wind will kick in sometime during mile two and by mile three I’ll feel like I can run forever. Doesn’t matter. The fight will be on the next day because that first mile sucks.
Then last week, while I was once again moving at a snail’s pace to leave and whining under my breath about not wanting to go, the Divine asked, “This is a voluntary activity, you know. Why do you run if you don’t want to?” I kind of chuckled but answered, “Well, I love the feeling of having gone and I can’t have gone if I never go.” I had an immediate hope this could plant a little seed in the mind of my child who wants no part of delayed gratification and is unabashedly lazy. She squashed that silly hope immediately of course with the response, “You know you’re talking like Dr. Seuss now, right?”
M’s sourness notwithstanding, the having gone IS exactly the reason I run. There is an inherent, indescribable feeling of accomplishment in finishing a run. There are few things better than conquering a hill and an undeniable satisfaction in realizing the “short runs” I’m doing during the week, I couldn’t run at all two months ago. By mile three, I almost always have the best feeling I’ve had all day, including how I feel about myself. There’s no grade, there’s no precise bar, it’s rarely pretty, you don’t win or lose in the traditional sense, you just keep going and finish. That’s the goal, with hopefully decent time. And I’ve long been aware, I can force myself to do anything if I know there is a specific end to reach. I find a gritty kind of strength in that.
No matter how much I really, really, really don’t want to go, it’s that all-consuming feeling of accomplishment at the end of a good, long run that gets me out there. It is absolutely the best high. And I can’t have it if I never go.
Now, why can’t I apply that to other aspects of life? Why can’t I keep in mind at work how much better I’d feel at the end of the day if I could accomplish some phenomenal, or some days merely average, amount of work? The most obvious answer is I’m hardly going to be sitting at my desk two hours in and be overwhelmed with a “Wow, this is awesome!” kind of feeling. That’s laughable because the practice of law definitely does not do it for me in that respect. Still, you’d think as an adult, it would be easier to keep in mind that accomplishing goals, while not enjoyable, is rewarding. I thought that was more a lesson for Miss M but maybe that’s the part of growing up we never stop learning, or making ourselves learn.
Now if only Jodi would learn that accomplishing goals means cooking pancakes.