About a week ago, I saw a sign advertising for a 5k run in the area. I've seen these signs all my life, but this was the first time I thought, "Huh, 5k doesn't seem like a very long run."
And then my brain kind of exploded, because that is certainly something I never, EVER thought I'd say. Like, ever. I have never been a runner. Honestly, I still hate running, even though I run at least 3 times a week now. I can feel my nerdy inner teen self glaring, grumbling about how lame I am for being like everyone else.
But the thing is, running produces results. When I first started, I was totally pathetic, huffing and puffing, couldn't even run a mile. Now I'm approaching 3 miles in 30mins, my current goal. It definitely didn't happen overnight, but by continued work, by pushing harder and harder, by continuing on even though I don't really like the act of running.
I do like the results, though. I've lost almost 15 pounds. I am stronger. I have more stamina. I can tell that my heart and lungs are healthier—it takes a lot more for me to get winded than it used to.
It's still hard for me to admit that I might be turning into a runner.
It didn't happen on purpose—I think it happened because of its measurable, extremely visible results. In writing, it can be hard to measure success. It's subjective, right? And sometimes it's really hard not to compare your subjective success to another's. I know I've reached some success in writing, but for some reason it's hard to hang on to that sense of accomplishment.
With running, it's so clear. A better time. A longer distance. Stronger muscles. Thinner waist. If I work, I see results, plain and simple. I never thought I would find comfort in running, but I do. Working in a profession where sometimes hard work does not equal a proportionally just reward, exercising has given me an outlet, a place where work equals results.
So while I don't ever love running, I adore the sense of accomplishment that comes after. If you're querying or on sub, I highly recommend finding something in your life with measurable results. Running keeps me grounded during a time in my writing where results and improvements and accomplishments are quite hazy.