I enjoy writing about running because I believe the lessons and skills learned translate to all aspects of one's being and character development. I will sometimes share articles on here.
We are constantly making decisions, and they range from small to large decisions. Small decisions, such as deciding to focus on the math teacher explaining a problem, big decisions such as asking a girl on a date. Related to this is an awesome concept I'd like to tackle, and it's the concept of willpower. Willpower is deciding against taking the easy path, and instead choosing the more challenging and rewarding path. There's the decision of going out for a good hard run, or going home and sitting on the couch. There's the decision of studying for a big upcoming exam, or hoping for the best and playing video games instead. In both of those scenarios, one option sounds way easier, but if you take a step back, which one is the rewarding decision? Too many times, we choose to do what we want to do, or that which is comfortable and gives immediate satisfaction, rather than doing what we should do. While it may be less comfortable doing the right thing, it will make us stronger and happier in the long term.
It is funny that as I was planning to write about this, I came across a couple recent articles and posts discussing willpower, and they described the scary fact that we live in a world where laziness is not only common, but often it is promoted! As a runner, you have probably been asked (or you will be asked) in a condescending fashion, "Why would you want to go run? That sounds painful!". And rather than giving an answer to that person, maybe it's best to think about the alternative. Ask that person, "Why would you want to go home and do nothing?". Running is more than stressing the muscles to come back stronger and make you physically faster. Running is creating a willpower that will transcend far beyond running. Unlike the lazy person, you will gain the skill of being able to escape your comfort zone in an effort to become a better person.
So think about the next time you are on a vacation, have a really busy day, or just don't want to get up early for the morning run. Every time you make the decision to run rather than taking the easy path of doing nothing or something that provides immediate but short term pleasure, you will become better for it. Being able to consistently do this is what will make you great at whatever you decide to do in life. Just as one bad workout doesn't ruin you, one great workout doesn't put you "in shape". It's the accumulation of good decisions you make to put your best effort in, get your run in, and overcome any adversity along the way. So next time you are trying to think of a reason why you can't run, be mindful that all of those reasons are just excuses that stronger willpower can overcome.
"The secret to success in anything you will ever do for the rest of your life is this: Do what you're supposed to do, when you're supposed to do it, not what you feel like doing when you feel like doing it"