Today, I ran.
If my own experience is any indication, writers are more talented at procrastinating than at any other skill. I can come up with 87 things to do that are not writing. Eating is a favorite standby (because perpetual snacking and sitting are foundational to every healthcare routine). There is also the never ending List Of Things – bills to be paid, texts to return, errands to be run. It is during would-be writing time that I find things to photograph and then edit; it becomes imperative to look out the window and wonder why I haven’t done anything with the porch; every book title I’ve ever wanted to read calls out to me from the Internet and begs for inclusion on my Amazon wish list.
There are a multitude of factors that can hinder a regular writing habit. But the months-long silence on this blog has less to do with procrastination, less to do with limited pockets of free time, and more to do with not having any words to share.
Being at a loss for words of the spoken variety is not uncommon for me. Put me in a group of more than two people and you’ll likely witness it. But at a loss for written words? Especially for a blog post? That is rarely an issue – never an issue would be more accurate. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have an overwhelming desire to write something and also have the necessary words to actually write it.
I have the first half of that equation. The second half has escaped me for most of this year.
Really, if you took a year off from reading this blog, you didn’t miss much. I think the last post I wrote that I actually liked was the Heels post… and that was last October.
I should have my blogging rights revoked.
So in an effort to write something purely for the sake of writing something, I’m going to attempt to write about any aspect of any day, as long as something gets written on a semi-regular basis. (Try not to be intimidated by my ambitious goal setting techniques. It takes years of failing at overly specific goals to get to this level.)
Today, that means you all get to hear about running.
Much like blogging, the days in which I easily ran 5 or 6 miles at a time as part of a regular daily workout routine are so long gone that I can scarcely see them waving in the distance. I can count the number of times I’ve run – or worked out in any capacity – since moving to Harrisburg in January on less than my full number of fingers and toes.
When I got home from work tonight, I decided that running needs to be something that happens in some form on a semi-regular basis. (Again with the audacious achievements. I’m looking to set the bar medium-low.) It was a decision made half because I came home from Kenya and Ethiopia and decided to eat all the things, and half because I know that running and I make better friends than enemies. Life tends to go better when running is happening.
So I did what I did back in 2008 when I first started running: I set out to run a mile. The overachiever in me died a little bit at the thought of running one single, solitary mile and calling it good, but the realist in me knew that one mile was probably the place at which I could start and actually finish without the aid of an oxygen tank.
So I ran. Downhill, because I needed gravity to be my ally for the first half of this reentry into physical activity. Then through the woods. Then down a walkway that overlooks cornfields. It was beautiful, and not only because my lungs were still attached to my body at the end of the mile.
After running, I walked for a long time, and listened to great music, and thought and prayed. I came home and cooked an actual dinner – aka, not my usual default of Things With Hummus. I found new Instagram feeds to follow and scrolled through Pinterest and watched an episode of Friends and made a to-go breakfast for tomorrow morning. I wrote a few emails and talked to my mom and returned texts and wrote this blog post and remembered why running makes life better: it has a way of setting everything else in motion, like the first domino in a long chain of dormant blocks.
Sitting down to write about something, anything, even a substandard reunion with running, seems to have the same effect.