Every runner has those days where she can’t decide whether or not to go running. Too tired. Too busy. Ate too much at brunch earlier. Whatever the reason, I find that when I just suck it up and go, I’m always happier after. Yesterday’s excuse? Too gray outside. Then I realized, that’s not an excuse—that’s just the shade of the sky. So I went.
It’s always those I-don’t-wanna runs that end up feeling perfect. Maybe that’s why running is so addictive. For every slog there’s an effortless glide that wins me over. Strides into my 5.5-miler yesterday, I was downright jaunty. Wind? No biggie. Hill? Piece of cake. I even practiced my finishing kick during the last half mile, sprinting past tipsy Shamrock Shufflers in my college-adjacent neighborhood the whole way back to my apartment.
Those cheesy motivational phrases all over Pinterest are right—the hardest part is stepping outside the door. Once you start running, regardless of how your legs or lungs are doing, you can still feel awesome about making this healthy, empowering decision. Running isn’t really about the physical benefits. It’s about getting away from TV and computer screens to think, sometimes even struggle mentally, and do something that requires nothing but willpower and your two feet.
If you’re not a runner and you just gave me a big eye roll, hear me out. I promise I’m not a crotchety technology hater. Just go for a run before you settle in to binge watch the new season of House of Cards, and you’ll get it.
Plus, you won’t feel any shame for biting into a giant burger later.
YOUR TURN: What excuses do you give yourself to skip a run? How do you motivate yourself?