Saturday, February 18, 2012

To Run or Not to Run...that is the question.

I'm currently reading the book "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin.  It's a fantastic book and while I'm not one to tout self-help books or therapy (I'm not against these things, I'm just not into them) it's quite inspiring.

I'm also planning on running a 10k race in April.  Now. Don't get me wrong. I am no runner.  I go for runs.  And it's pretty much horribly painful the whole step of the way.  I'm a LOT concerned that I've only run 8k at the most so far.  One time.  I run 5k on the treadmill regularly.  And regularly I feel like I'm going a little bit more crazy every kilometre I run.  It's so BORING.  Not even listening to David Guetta or picturing my boys shiny happy faces cheering me on at the finish line can help me most days.  Though sometimes listening to "Sexy and I know it" helps when I picture myself clubbin' it and singing with my arms up in the air along with LMFAO.

"Girl look at that body...girl look at that body....girl look at that body...

....I work ooouuut" - aren't the lyrics brilliant?

I know you're probably looking at your computer wondering what does the book have to do with my running....or as my husband says "What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?"

In "The Happiness Project" Gretchen vows to "Be Gretchen" - meaning doing things she enjoys and is interested in, not what she thinks she should be enjoying and interested in because it seems everyone else is.

I've always thought I was all about "Being January".  I'm not phony in any sense of the word - that takes way too much energy - and I'm a terrible liar too.  I can barely tell a white lie to my kids.  I have a hard enough time telling them that there's no such thing as ghosts.  Because I actually believe there ARE such things as ghosts. And while I will put up the facade of Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, when the time comes that my kids start to question it, I will tell them the truth and hope it doesn't destroy their souls.

Alright.  So. Back to the whole point of this post.

Why am I going to run 10k when it's pretty clear I'm not a fan of running. Why not just 'Be January', face the facts and forfeit the entire run altogether?

The same reason I jumped out of an airplane at ten thousand feet when I'm terrified of heights, wanted a natural childbirth when everyone told me that I was insane and did the 24 hour famine when I love food almost as much as my kids - and my husband. (I have to get something off my chest.  I didn't survive the famine.  I stole a cookie from the kitchen at the 18 hour mark.  I know I will be getting a very stern lecture from the big man upstairs when the time comes in the - hopefully - far away future.  If he even accepts me through the pearly whites that is.)

I do all of these things just to see if I can do them.  That's my reason.

But now this book has got me thinking.  Why am I putting myself through the torture of running when it really doesn't make me happy?  Sure, I love the feeling of it when it's OVER.  But during the running itself?  Not so happy you guys.  Not so happy.

What is motivation is the fact that I put it on my 2012 Bucket List.  It's held me accountable and it will make me crazy if I don't do these things.  I've already been on a date with my husband AND made samosas from scratch.  I can check two off my list now!  The date with my husband was thoroughly enjoyable of-course...the samosa making, not so much.  Though eating them most definitely was.

And now I've just realized something....

The thing about doing activities outside your comfort zone once in a while is that you find things out about yourself that you wouldn't ordinarily know.  For example even though it took me 24 hours to make 24 samosas..I found out I make a better samosa than my Indian neighbours. (their words, not mine).

In any case.  This body will be doing a 10K whether it wants to or not.  But the likelihood of me doing another after this is pretty much slim to none.

Though I might consider doing a decathlon.

I'm pretty good at riding a bike.


Alex | Perfecting Dad said...

Hey January, long time no comment over here. I'm a runner and it doesn't make me happy either. Or at least I thought it didn't, until I tried it. First event was a marathon. Couldn't run 10K before that without keeling over. The training was pure hell until I got to the event and was swept up by the masses of people, all shapes, running like me. From then on it was awesome. Running along the canal, through the parks, up the hills, by the lake. Some great feelings. I used to go alone, but now I push my kids in a stroller. I take an mp3 player and load up some good audiobooks. I think you'll like it.

Stacey said...

I think you're right - taking on new challenges is a great way to learn more about yourself. But I don't think you should feel one bit guilty if you never run again after that race. :-) Way to stretch yourself on your 2012 bucket list!