A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that I didn’t really come to running until my thirties. As I said, I grew up in a household where my dad was the runner. Me, not so much. I always felt like it took WAY more energy than seemed reasonable for the number of calories burned. But nevertheless, at several points in my life, I gave it a try.
First in high school, where I had access to a nice air conditioned indoor track at our local gym. Then in college, when I was on the university taekwondo team while we were training for nationals. After college when I was trying to slim down for my wedding. During grad school as my personal project for my behavior modification class.
But it never stuck.
Running was something I did for one reason or another for a few months at a time, then it petered out when I picked up some other form of exercise because I didn’t really like it. Plus I had an old knee injury that running tended to aggravate.
I don’t know why I decided to try it again this past January. I was out of town visiting a friend and on a guest pass to her gym, and all the exercise bikes were full. So I got on the treadmill and ran for the first time in six years. Ok, more like walked/jogged slowly. But still. It didn’t murder my knee, as expected. And for whatever reason, when I came home, I kept it up. I invested in GOOD SHOES and GOOD INSERTS. Possibly I might’ve stuck with running years ago if I’d ever done that. Regardless, I stuck with it this time.
So why the change? Why did I stick with running when I’d started and stopped all those times before?
Because this time I owned it.
Running is no longer just something I do for some random reason or other. It has become a part of who I am, a part of how I define myself. I am a runner. And that gets me out of bed at dawn, even in the dead awful heat of a Mississippi summer, to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
The same thing applies to being a writer. Don’t let it just be something you do from time to time. Don’t run around saying you’re “aspiring”.
Own the title of “writer”. Make it part of who you are and you’ll be a lot more likely to stick with it and make a success of your dreams.