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Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Today was one of those days that I'm supposed to use for resting and yoga. I did the first. I did not do the second.

I did stretch out this evening, but I didn't want to take the time to get everything set up for the actual yoga process. I chose to spend the day focusing on my work. I'm actually very happy with my decision in the end.

Tomorrow morning I've got a bit of a longer run, and it's scheduled to be on the treadmill, which I think should be good for me.

Sometimes, it becomes very difficult for me to fight a feeling of uselessness, particularly when I've been working out on a regular schedule and then I stop for any period of time, even a day. It's one of those things that permeates everything I do in a day, and if it's allowed to grow, it'll take over a week before I know it. That's part of the trouble that I've had with maintaining a training program for any length of time. One day leads to another, leads to another, leads to weeks and months of doing nothing.

Today, I got up just before work, did my stuff for nine hours, watched Jeopardy, headed to a rehearsal, and then came home. There was really nothing spectacular, and now, as I sit and think about the day, there didn't have to be.  Not every day has incredible high points. Some days are there to make other days happen. My work today will make my reporting next week look great. My rehearsal this evening will make next week's performances great. The Jeopardy... well... that was pretty much just for fun. But I felt smart, so that was great, too.

Still, I felt pretty useless thinking about writing this entry about how I did nothing. Then I did something that really helped my brain. I cleaned the kitchen when I came home. It's a simple thing, but cleaning really helps take control of a room, and that's the first step to taking control of a day.

There was a show on television tonight where people had to have professionals come in and clean their homes, and it sort of baffles me. I mean, I wanted a quick bite to eat, but there were some dirty dishes on the counter, and so I took care of them. And then I cleaned the counters, and sink, and in about ten minutes, the kitchen was perfect. It was exactly how I wanted it.

Even though everything else I did today was for some later purpose, cleaning the kitchen was just for that moment. The kitchen is now clean, and I have the instant gratification of seeing something to completion.

I'm realizing it's a lot like running. Most people run for some purpose other than the run itself. They're trying to lose weight, or training for a race, or just trying to stay fit. Many people hate running because they do it once, or for a week, or maybe a few weeks, and nothing changes. They don't make the progress that they've been promised, and they drop out.

I've learned that, by keeping track of my times and forcing myself to shoot for a pace, I make each run an attainable goal. When I finish my runs, not only have I laid groundwork for the future, I've got my instant gratification. A new number to put into my tracking spreadsheet. Yes, I have a spreadsheet.

It's color-coded.

And when I've put everything into it, I can look at it and be happy about the fact that, in spite of anything else I do that day, I've completed my run, and I'm one step closer to my marathon.

And my kitchen is clean.

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