There are mornings I do not want to get out of bed. Even considering leaving the folds of jersey knit sheets, an almost-memory foam mattress (it has the memory of a pregnant woman), and the tiny bird chirps singing in through the floor to ceiling windows sounds worse than being in a brightly lit tunnel with a migraine headache.
Every morning this week has started this way, from Saturday through today. It’s been five days of literally coaxing myself onto the shag carpet, a sports bra over my head, and hair into a ponytail. On Monday, I actually laid back down on my bed for a hot second (the absolute epitome of the danger zone between getting out and running and going back to dreamland). There’s not a particular reason for any of this. Bedtimes have been met, podcasts updated. So a lot of you are probably thinking “If it’s so hard, why do it?”
My best answer is habit and practice. Through the habit of running, I have learned that practicing the art of forcing myself out the door rarely fails to let me down. I almost always feel better even if I yawn my way through the first quarter of my run to get to that elusive “better” feeling.
Coaxing takes many forms. I remind myself that I’ll feel guilty eating calorie-laden food (like mushroom stroganoff a la Aaron and Ash, or Dibs a la Steven, or brie a la myself) if I don’t move my ass. I remind myself that the dress I want to wear to a wedding in 30 days still fits, but I think gaining another pound or two would make it a tight squeeze. I remind myself that I really want to hear the new Savage Lovecast. I remind myself there will be other people running who managed to get out of bed, and if I were to wake up and see them out my window I’d be jealous and also mad at myself. I remind myself I can sleep later. On my lunch break, or when I get home, or I can go to bed earlier. I bargain. I remind myself of the potential of nightmares. But the fact of the matter is, I get up.
I write all this because so many people say they can’t imagine having this kind of dedication, and I always want to tell them they’re wrong. I’m not dedicated. I’m just…determined. Sure, some days I’m dedicated and running because I love it and because I can’t not do it. But some days I’m determined to not hate myself later, or to feel productive, or to fit into my damn dress. Mostly though, I write all this because I promise that you can be determined too. Next time you don’t want to get up and workout, just do it anyway. Literally.
Even if you’re sleepy. Even if you would rather be watching back episodes of Sister Wives.
And then come back here and tell me how it went.
PS: Swimming today was fantastic. I woke up, hit snooze, got up ten minutes later and made it to the pool. While walking I realized I had thought it was Friday, when of course…it’s only Thursday. Despite that set back, I still got in the water and wound up swimming five minutes longer than planned because I’d zoned out and was thoroughly enjoying myself. That’s what I call a successful workout.