I’ve been running a lot lately, and it sucks.
I’m out of shape, I’m slow (11:00 minutes/miles), it’s 95 degrees in Peak Sweaty Balls Houston Humidity, and I don’t see a near-term end game.
It’s just suffering.
After every run I post to my personal Instagram a pic of the run and my time.
A friend recently commented on a run, “You have a particular fitness goal you're working towards?”
I could run to try and lose weight. If this body at age 33 is my peak physical form then I’m totally screwed for the rest of my life.
I could also be running for a charity, or to support a sick friend, or any number of other wholesome & practical reasons.
But what I told my friend instead was “each run is its own reward.”
The point isn’t to suffer so I can achieve some other arbitrary goal in the future. Or to pass some mental goalpost I’ve set where “I’ll be happy when I have fill in the blank here.”
Overcoming all the pain & the suffering & the struggle... that’s the point.
To say “I did it”. To tell myself I’m going to do something, and then to keep that promise to myself and do it.
The personal satisfaction that one gains from keeping personal promises is reward enough.
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