A few years ago I trained (sporadically) for the Detroit Half-Marathon. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the training was staying consistent. I’d look at my schedule for the day or week, then look at what I was supposed to run, and more days than I’d like to admit, I wasn’t able to fit in the running. So, I would make up for it with a longer “long run” – in the end, I was able to get to the point where I knew I would at least make it. My goal was to run the entire time and finish in as close to two hours as possible. I made the first goal, with the exception of having to take a potty break near the end – and I probably could’ve made it, but decided I didn’t want to be one of those die-hard runners who “just goes” in order to save time. As for the second goal – I think my official finish was 2hrs. 18min. – I was happy with that for sure!!
The year following that race, I logged less than 25 miles running. I think I had used up all my running energy and was left with little desire to do it anymore. But now, I’m feeling the urge again – not necessarily to run a half, but just for that post-run feeling of accomplishment, and the transformation from those early runs where my chest burns and my side aches, to those runs a few weeks later, when I suddenly realize I’m almost done and I feel like I could keep going.
But tonight, as I sit on my couch having just wrapped up a partial game of Monopoly with the kids, I’m faced with a more pressing issue of training. It comes in the furry form, with four legs, a tail, and a set of fairly sharp teeth. Our pup, Carbon, came to join our family in September, and for the most part, he has been a great dog. Perhaps the only issues he has are more our fault than his. Given that he’s maybe 6lbs or so, and that’s about what he’ll stay for life, we didn’t establish the “no furniture” rule with him, the way we did with our previous dog – a 65lb Weimaraner. Tonight, as I’m attempting to type, Carbon attacks my fingers, or subtly chews his squeak toy right in front of my screen. In my heart, I know he just wants attention, and I half-heartedly toss the toy only to type frantically during those fleeting seconds between toss and retrieval. As I anticipate our second puppy class on Tuesday, I know that I should snap on his leash and practice just a few commands in the living room. But too often, I don’t, thinking that the alternative is easier.
I wish this lack of discipline was limited to running and canine obedience, but there are far too many times when what I know I should do and what I actually do falls into other big categories such as devotions, child rearing, finances, and devotions. When will I realize that a little work each and every day will often result in a much easier time down the road? When will I stop trading immediate convenience for future frustration? For lack of any excuse to not get started, the best answer to those questions is…NOW!
This post was written as part of a monthly challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers, to encourage writing and community.
The goal is to write a Slice of Life entry each day throughout the month of March.