The Runner's Chronicles - 2

Results are great motivators for discipline.

I used to inconsistently go to the gym, where the popular hours and the unsolicited conversation made it a reason to wear headphones. Did I do an in-depth study of what is an effective way to work out? No. But I did see personal trainers that suggested programs that I couldn’t personally connect to.

From my years in the gym, I realized that my inconsistency branched from the lack of results brought by my lack of discipline. I am sure there were a myriad of ways that I could have found joy at the gym, I mean you see so many fit people using these spaces to push and transform themselves; but there was something about gyms that wasn’t connecting with me.

The pandemic got rid of gyms and yoga studios, my main sources of intermittent fitness, so my home became testing grounds. At my friend’s suggestion, I began these work outs that were offered for free via Instagram Live sometime during the pandemic. Because they were only up for 24h, it forced me to complete them before they were no longer available. It seemed I’d found a temporary answer for strength training, but what about fresh air? I told myself no work out would happen without a run.

At first it was embarrassing to me that I could not run until the end of the block without feeling out of breath. The perk was that the streets were empty, so my orthodox Jewish neighbours looking out the window were the only ones who could see me. And as far as I knew, they didn’t own smart phones with which they could spread humiliating videos of me all over TikTok. I also remember asking myself multiple times how people even run longer, and then you reassure yourself that they’re simply all natural born athletes. 

I didn’t want to stop though. It became a little challenge to see if it was possible for me to build endurance. As I added more blocks to my run, I realized that I had reached the entry to a gravel running path near my place. I was so proud to see that my parameter had grown, and that the fenced entry into the gravel path that I had never really paid attention to, had now become sort of memento. There it was. The entry to my next length challenges. 

Before I bore you with all the details of how I sectioned the path, how I created milestones for myself, and yada yada yada, let me tell you that I started seeing results.

My clothes fit differently, my skin looked better, and I felt strong not just in my body, but in my mind. I felt better about eating the foods that I enjoyed, but it also motivated me to eat better. For the first time in my life, I felt that the decision to be consistent came from a place that I could connect to and from benefits that noticeably improved my life. Running longer brought me a sense of growth and it made me see my neighbourhood clearer.

As I covered the gravel path with slightly more ease, I realized it had seen me sweat in the heat, layer up on windy days, and slowing down when it was muddy. The first time my Casio hit 40 minutes I felt a sense of pride that only comes when you do things your mind tells you you can’t. 

Assembling outfits, putting up my hair, tying my shoes, and putting on my Casio felt like the beginning of something that only I could experience. Suddenly there was great comfort in solitude.

Running Teaching #8: You may not like discipline, but you will like the results.