But for a stark realization, today's post would have begun, "I didn't feel very good when I started running today...".
In fact, as I climbed the last of the stairs at the gym, I found myself slipping into my old fearful mindset. You see, today I was to increase my running time from 17 minutes to 19 minutes, and as I stepped onto the cardio floor to head to a treadmill, my mind thought about that two whole extra minutes. And I thought about how tired I was at 17 minutes on my last run, and how grateful I was to stop. Out of fear, I was already giving myself permission to give up when 17 minutes ticked by on the treadmill.
It was then that it truly hit me.
It really is a mindset.
And my mindset was setting me up to fail, simply by giving myself an "out" when things started to get uncomfortable. I had already decided that I wasn't going to be able to stretch myself, or move forward.
And in that crystal moment of clarity a small seed of reckless joy germinated somewhere deep within me.
It's a tender shoot, and I'll have to guard it carefully. Negativity, especially fueled by the force of habit, is a powerfully destructive thing.
I don't think I've uncovered the cheat code to the mystery of life here. In truth, most of you experienced runners are likely thinking, "Well...duh?"
But for me it represents a paradigm shift in my thinking. A whole new world awaits.
My run today?
Well, my split for today was supposed to be 19 minutes.
I ran 25.
And I could have, would have, should have kept running.
What an amazing feeling.