I can do hard things

I have this weird habit. I can't let people be in front of me. I must have been a nightmare in elementary school what with all the "butting" and "budging" and "cutting in front" and stuff like that. Maybe I didn't do that in elementary school, but I do now. I don't mean to say I cut in line because that's rude, but if I'm walking around campus and someone is headed the same direction as me, I have to be in front of them. I have to pass them. This obsession of mine may have lead to a certain speeding ticket gained the Sunday before our wedding but that's another story.

You get the point. So this happened to me yesterday. We've been picking up running again because I want to do running things. I want to run a marathon, but given how very little I've run in my entire life, that may not be in the cards this year. I'd love it to be but we'll see. A 5K is in the cards, though, so we're getting ready for that haha... Which seems a little silly because we're pretty much running 5Ks right now but whatever. Running is good for us and blah blah blah.

The first day of running this year was in um.... January, yeah. I ran the week before we moved, just me, the road, and a few farms around me. It was great and I had no problem with it. The second run of the year was this Monday. It was alright, I was able to get myself into my running 
clothes with little whining, but the actual run was hard. I think I forgot to stretch or something because I was grimacing by the fourth rep. Joe ran on home and I walked for the last five minutes.

Last night was the third run. I didn't want to go. I almost let Joe go on his own but gosh darn it. I wasn't going to let myself feel ok with that so I didn't. I guilted my brain into getting up and going, and that's what I did. We went to a river parkway, which is CONSIDERABLY more enjoyable to run along than the side of a street I see every day. When we pulled into the parking lot some girl was running by and I determined that we had to pass her eventually. #obsession. And we did. And then we headed out about a mile and a half and turned around.

I stretched so nothing was hurting really, but my lungs were certainly screaming. The turn around involved us running into the sun, and shadows were flashing in my eyes. I hated that. We rounded a corner and a girl was running in front of us. And... we had to pass her. Joe was the one who suggested it first but the second he said the words I was rearing to go and pushed. Hard.

We sprinted past.

And we kept going and slowed the pace back down.

And then my body said "Ok brain that's ok. You're doing good, you keep running, I'm gonna stop now." I couldn't go anymore. Ugh. I was so frustrated. I wasn't gonna walk the last five minutes but I couldn't run, I couldn't make myself run. I told Joe, told him to go on ahead and I started to walk trying to soothe those screaming lungs.

It's fun to watch Joe run.

I kept walking and that little voice popped back into my mind. The voice that guilted me into getting onto the parkway in the first place.

And I knew that if I walked the rest of the way, that would pull our pace down significantly, and I didn't want a slow pace all because my body was wanting to quit. So I gave myself thirty seconds to grimace and groan and then said "Ok body, sucks to be you, but we're going now." So I ran.

This seems so much like bragging and that's because it is. But I ran the rest of the way and watched Joe stop when he got to the car and walk it out a bit and then turn around to come back and get me, but I was right behind him. I ran the rest of the way and even pushed myself past my limit for the last 10 seconds, sprinted it out.

And I did it. I refused to let myself be ok with mediocrity and that may have been a turning point for me.

So hard it's been to get up and go to school. Spring break has been an utter dream and every time Joe mentions the word "school" I cower in fear and pain because I don't want to go back. I just want to stop and be home for more than three hours a day.

So hard it's been to motivate myself into eating well. Guys, I love soda. I can't tell you how much I love soda. I can't tell you how much soda hates me. I noticed a strong correlation, if not a causation between drinking soda and feeling miserable and depressed the rest of the day. And when it comes to meals, mac and cheese, pizza is easier and cheaper than making something lovely and healthy. It is. But I've made a goal to lower my blood pressure this year and to get my heart healthy again.

It's hard. But doing difficult things pushes us out of our "ok plateau". The flat ground we're ok with standing on because it's easy and it's what we're comfortable with. But when we're on our "ok plateau" we're not becoming better, and pardon me if I think that's the whole reason anyone is here, to try to make a better life for ourselves than what we had yesterday.

Being better isn't always accomplishing that half-marathon that people (or is it just me? Just me? Ok...) dream of. Being better than you were yesterday sometimes means just getting through the day. Just surviving. That's a feat of improvement on its own in some cases.

Today I'm refusing to make excuses for myself. It's hard but I can do it. I can do hard things so I'm gonna do those hard things. I'm gonna run when I don't want to. I'm going to keep going to school and finish this darn degree. I'm gonna plan healthy foods and budget for them and then cook them. I'm gonna force another bottle of water down rather than sneaking a soda.

I've done these things before so I know I can do them, but even if I hadn't, I know I have greatness in me because every single human being has the potential for greatness.

It's just a matter of putting one's foot down and refusing to accept mediocrity anymore.

It's just a matter of accepting that you can do hard things and then doing them. 

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