That unmotivated spirit has been haunting me for weeks now. I’m still getting out and running almost daily, as well as splashing around purposefully in the pool, but it all feels like work, work, work instead of play, play, play. Even with the Dana Point Turkey Trot getting closer, I’m still not quite enthusiastically bounding out my front door, down the flight of stairs and out into the world. In theory, though, the fact that I am doing it remains the important part, not so much as to whether or not I like it.
Since internal inspiration has been severely lacking, I have been looking to outside influences for why to run, why to be healthy, and why to do crunches even if I have to do them in front of my boyfriend, and it didn’t take too long to find an idea to cling to: I run because I can, and because there are people who have had to work even harder than me to learn to run, and they are doing it.
I spent time with an old friend this week, one whom I had not seen since the dawn of time (okay, three years ago – but three years ago might as well have been the dawn of time). It was a time before I ever ran, and it was definitely a time before she ever ran. When I knew her best, R was not a runner. Nor was she much concerned with the art of exercise, the calorie content of her latte, or how much hydration she was accumulating during the day. How times have changed.
R has lost 95 pounds since I last saw her. Her BFF, T, has lost 65. If it hadn’t been for my occasional need to stalk them on Facebook, I never would have even recognized them when I saw them in person this week. R works out almost every day, be it spinning, kick-boxing, weights, or cardio at the gym. She counts points with Weight Watchers, and drinks eight glasses of water a day, Oh, and she ran her first 10K last month.
Having known the old R, it was obvious to me that none of this came easily to her. When I asked her about it, she said something that really struck me: I deserved to look like that. I didn’t do anything to help myself out, and I did it to myself. And we both deserve to be healthy.
Maybe the most motivating image I have in my head lately is of R. She was telling me about how much she hates water. She cannot stand the taste of water (and she lives in Oregon, where the water, to a water-junkie like me, tastes like liquid perfection), and Weight Watchers insists you drink 64 ounces of water each day. When she first started WW, and before she discovered the miracle of Crystal Light, she would stand over her sink and drink 32 ounces at once just to get the required water-intake over with. Imagine the thing you hate most in the world – like Jell-O – and someone telling you that you had to eat 64 cubes of Jell-O every day, even though it makes you gag, she said. In order to be healthy and stay healthy, for two years R has imbibed something that makes her feel like she’s going to vomit. God, and I’m whining about taking a forty minute run?
If R can drink water, I can take a short run.