I do not like to run, I like to have gone running.

When I was a kid, I loved to run. It felt great to chase around the playground, to pause with my hands braced on my knees when I ran out of breath, to take off again racing flat out when I caught it again. I remember laughing with the sheer pleasure of pumping my legs and arms, the joy of winning the race in gym class.

In college, I ran for exercise.  First thing in the morning, I rolled out of bed, threw on sweatpants and a t-shirt and laced up my running shoes.  The physical effort of my morning jog woke me up and got my day started.  It helped me process my thoughts and work off my stress.  Running kept me grounded and (relatively) sane.

As an adult, running has become a chore I must squeeze into my schedule before or after work.  The older I get, the more I suffer from aching joints and sore muscles.  I still run, usually only twice a week, and often, what gets me out the door is knowing that my dog will be disappointed if I don’t.

I start slow and work up to medium.  No more sprinting for me, no more runner’s high.  But at the end of my three miles, I still get that same feeling of satisfaction.  I did it again.  Maybe my knee hurts or I’m more tired than I’d like to be, but I got the job done.

“I do not like to write, I like to have written.”  – Gloria Steinem

Sitting down to write often feels like running to me.  It’s hard work and sometimes I’d rather go back to bed.  But my writing session is on my calendar and if I don’t write today, I won’t make any progress on my novel.

So I start slow.  I warm up with a prompt from A Writer’s Book of Days.  I set my timer and I put words on the page.  By the time the alarm sounds, I may not have written anything brilliant, but I have made progress.  I get up out of my chair, I stretch and putter for a few minutes, and then if I can, I set the timer and I work some more.

At the end of the day, I have written and it feels good.

What about you?  Have you found a way to write with the joy of a child?  Or do you have to work your way into it like I do?


Filed under Dogs, Running, Writing

7 responses to “Running

  1. I love your description of being a kid and running! I was right back to my own childhood and reminded of how in the moment and in our bodies we are as kids. The discipline you describe is such a good reminder of the rewards which follow discipline, in running, writing… in life.

    I am so enjoying reading your writing!

  2. Leah

    Great comparison of running to writing. I think I like the idea of running, and to be done with it. I’ve been using The Writer’s Book of Days as well. Love it!

    • I feel that way about a lot of things that are good for me. I don’t really want to do them, but afterwards, I’m always glad I did.

      Glad to find another writer who loves Judy’s book. It’s so helpful.

  3. You’re off to a great start! Perfectly fitting post, to write about our craft. I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to writing. The computer is my candy store, and I each night when I get home from work, I can’t wait to be here to start writing. Often I get my ideas, germs for my posts, while walking my dog. And when it comes, I race home to start writing. Congrats on going public with your blog! 🙂

  4. Great analogy Shary; enjoyed the post! I, too, use Judy’s Writer’s Book of Days. She’s such a inspirational teacher. And I so enjoyed meeting you yesterday.

  5. Shary, like Monica, I get my best writing ideas while walking Roxy. I find that connecting with nature is inspiring. I never leave the house without my camera and I find that when my muse visits, I have to sit down and type, lest I forget what inspired me in the first place. I have been writing since I learned how to hold a pencil. I love it. It’s not only therapeutic, but it allows me to channel my creativity. I like to write about funny things but I can also do drama! hee hee! I really enjoyed this post! 🙂