Today I ran Couch to 5k Week 5, Day 1. The run consists of three 5 minute runs with 3 minute walks in between. I wasn’t sure how it would go with today taking me farther than I’ve run until this point. As I was walking in to the workout room to get on to the treadmill I started to think back to the fall of 2008 when I used to run before. I was about 235 lbs at that point but was down from 260 a few months before. In my mind I was still “that fat guy”. It was quite cold in that year in Michigan and I had gone from the road to the treadmill at a gym. I would drop by after work and do a 5 minute warm up before running my 5k. At this point I was averaging about a 12 1/2 minute mile so I was running for a while. Throughout my run guys would come in and get on the treadmill next to me. They were all quite tone and trim but they would get on the treadmill for about 5 minutes and then get off out of breath. It made me proud to be the one who kept going.
Today, that thought carried me through my whole run. There was a guy in the workout room lifting weights and from the drips of sweat on the treadmill (yeah, kind of gross) I could see he had been running. I guess I’m a bit of a show off and probably like to be the center of attention but I wanted to feel proud running my 5 minute runs with this other guy and later his wife in the room. While I like to do things for myself, I like to seek validation and approval from others. Yes, its kind of silly, maybe a little weird. It probably comes from being a musician and a writer my whole life. These are two art forms that you share with your spectators. I like to treat everything in my life as an art form on display for the world to see and my hope is that they’ll be inspired or have some kind of emotional response. After all, this is what the human experience is all about isn’t it?
So what motivates you to keep going? Is it simply looking in the mirror and being happy with what you see? Maybe you’re bored and work out for something to do? Perhaps it’s purely social for you. Whatever your reason, embrace it and keep going.
Yesterday I did 130 squats. A great number. I’m proud to say that my squats are on par and improving as an even pace with my sit ups and push ups. Today I plan to do at least 130 push ups but I think I can do more.