I began running in January. Yes, running, as in jogging on a track for exercise. Do I like it? Not one bit. In fact, I’d probably say I hate it. Every excruciating minute of it. Then why do I do it, you ask? Because I have high blood pressure, and two of the best ways to control it is with diet and exercise. So, in addition to loading my diet with fruits and veggies, I run. Three times a week. Four if I’m really motivated.
When I started running, I would run a lap, then walk a lap. Run a lap and walk a lap. It was a nice pattern. Not too hard. I could do it without my side hurting or my lungs burning. And I was happy with myself. But after two months of my nice little routine, I was given a challenge: Run a mile without stopping.
“But I can’t! I’m not a runner! I’m not ready for a mile!” I vehemently protested. And yet, I somehow found myself rounding the first lap and continuing on to a second. That day, I ran a mile without stopping. It was hard. I felt like I was going to pass out afterward. But I did it. I actually did it.
That was a week ago, and last night, I’m proud to report that I ran two miles without stopping for the first time ever. In my life. Quite an accomplishment, I must say. And today, my accomplishment has got me thinking.
When it comes to writing, I’m more of a run a lap, walk a lap kind of girl. I’m fine with writing the short things: blog posts, essays, short stories, journal entries. Those are a breeze. It’s the lengthy works that seem out of reach. And yet, it’s the lengthy works that have always been my dream. Ever since I could write, I’ve wanted to write a novel. And yet, no matter how many first 10 pages I write, I never follow through.
I wonder if, like running a mile, it’s really not as hard as I’ve made it to be in my head. I wonder if I really am capable of more than I give myself credit for. And I wonder if something as simple as a challenge could take a blogger and turn her into a novelist. Hmm….