I hate writing. I love having written
– Dorothy Parker
I read this quote in Caroline Myss’ Anatomy of the Spirit. Myss was referring to developing personal power and how “it feels like heaven once we’ve arrived, but the journey getting there is long and arduous.” In the margin next to that sentence I wrote “I hate meditating/running. I loving having meditated/run.”
When I posted the “I hate running. I love having run” statement on Twitter, there was a flurry of replies and retweets, mostly along the lines of “YES! Exactly!”
Anything worth having is worth putting in effort for, be it personal power, growing a meditation practice, training for a run, or starting yoga. I felt the same way about yoga when I first started the way I now feel about running. I had to bribe myself into going to class, usually with some little treat or going with a friend. Once I got into the class, then it was self-reinforcement of “just try three more breaths. Two more. Last one. OK, now you can go to child’s pose.” My yoga practice wasn’t meditative at all for the first couple years because I was keeping up a running dialog with myself, trying to keep myself going and keep myself from quitting. The biggest reason I didn’t quit: I felt so damn GOOD after class. There’s really nothing to describe the feeling in your body and mind after a well-balanced yoga class. It defies description and can only be experienced.
With running I’m back to the self-bribery. Hey, what can I say? It works for me. I bribing myself with “run until the clock hits 20 minutes, then you can walk” or “run until this song and the next are over and then you can dial the pace down” or, my personal favorite, “run another 3 minutes and you can have hot chocolate after dinner.” The things I do to motivate myself.
However, I love the feeling after I run. The feel of well-used muscle, the freedom of breathing without exertion, that almost-lightheaded feeling, which I think might be “runner’s high”. It keeps me getting back on the treadmill, despite the numerous conversations I have with myself to actually get me there.
It’s also far more mentally challenging to run on a treadmill (running to nowhere = SO BORING) than running outside, but until Mother Nature decides to stop dropping 10+ inches of snow every week, I’m stuck indoors, running to nowhere.
I hope that, in the near future, I can get back to a meditation practice. I tried this fall and had to let it go. Perhaps self-bribery can work for that too. “Just sit another two minutes and then you can go running.” LOL!
What do you have a love/hate relationship with?