Just F*cking Do It!

I decided that 2017 would be the year that I sign up and train for my first half marathon.

I’ve been telling myself for years how running is the bane of my existence.  Before I made the full commitment to run 13.1 miles, I met with a close friend.  Over the past year, she transitioned from being a cardio-enthused POUND fitness guru who also became well acquainted with the iron plates in the weight room.  I had every intention of asking her to teach me how to fall in love with running, an approach I felt was necessary in making the task of running much more palatable.

You don’t fall in love with it.  It sucks.  Some days being a huge pain in the ass, and the others being tolerable—maybe even pleasant.  The days that you are extraordinarily resistant to training are the days you need to train the most.  Because training is 50% body conditioning, but 100% mindset.

She called running a metaphor for life.

It sucks… but you do it.  Just go.  Sometimes you have to push through, regardless of how you feel.  Show up.  It doesn’t matter how hard you go, as long as you get up, get through it, and get it done.

Yesterday, I did NOT want to train.  I was physically tired, mentally exhausted, and emotionally warn out.  Millions of excuses were lined up and ready to fight for an evening of laying on the sofa.  The inner dialogue that occurred within—a battle between laziness and perseverence—came down to the final compromise that I would at least show up.  Just… show the fuck up.  

One mile down.  35 minutes of strength training to help me build up strength and courage to continue pulling through.  Because in addition to this half marathon, I’ve committed myself to a 5K mud run and obstacle course in April and a 10-mile backpacking trip the week after my marathon.  I sucked it up because I had to in order to the fulfill the things I want to do.  Even if it all seems so pointless and unattainable right now, I have to put in the work.

I put in the work, now it was time to reward my efforts.  I had a major craving for Chinese food and ultimately decided to make the compromise of hitting up an Americanized (read: healthier, lower sodium, non-MSG laden) version of my vice.  My future cookie came with a quote… and a lot of insight.

Use your abilities at this time to stay focused on your goal.  You will succeed.

The truth poured in like the insane amount of rain Los Angeles has been getting  There are no shortcuts, no fast fixes when it comes to going after what  you want.  Hard work and focus are involved.  Make the commitment to do something for yourself and have enough integrity to stand by your promises.  This is what gets you up the mountain, over the mess and mud in between each obstacle, and across that finish line.

It takes time, effort, and pain.  It takes pushing through the days you want to give up or lie down.  It takes patience in knowing that training yourself for the long haul equals no quick fix, but a series of shorter durations involving practicing and preparing for the “day of the event.”  It takes longevity, the collection of experiences and lessons that you accrue along the way.  It takes blisters, bumps, bruises, and getting sidelined to teach yourself how to rest, heal, and how to get right back up… sometimes even before you’re 100% ready.  It takes a lot of love—for yourself, for what’s ahead.  It takes humility in asking someone else for help, seeking out others to guide you, push you, and help you stay accountable.  It takes millions of treats that come in the form of little gifts to yourself and kind words we speak softly to ourselves when we hit a wall and want to quit.

It takes hard work, day in and day out.  Even harder on the days we don’t want to train/adult/change/fight/self-improve.  There is no way to expedite growth, no fast fixes that will enable you to avoid putting in the work.  You show up.  You do it.  You get through it.  Some days better than most.

Because this is life:  one beautiful and amazing suckfest that demands our focus to get where we want to be, at any given time.

And today, I decided to start calling myself a runner—not because I am particularly good at it or love it—but because in the efforts of believing in yourself, you need to tell yourself that you are already your best possible future self.

Time just hasn’t caught up with you yet.

I No Longer Have your Love, But I Have Something Better

To the man who broke my heart, around this time last year…

You came into my life during a time when the only person I was willing to date was… myself.  Despite my unwillingness to give anyone else a chance, it was your charm, charisma, and the little gestures that won me over.  You had me choosing not to sleep because reality was becoming far better than any of my dreams.

Being with you was like riding on the bare back of a rescued elephant—surreal and filled with different waves of emotions.  The initial excitement; the flashes of fear and anxiety of falling off and being trampled; the anxious sighs of relief after surviving the walk over bumpy terrain; and the pure sheer bliss in connecting with something so magical and beautiful, I could not help but feel lucky.

Despite all of its beauty, our relationship was far from perfect and you were incredibly flawed.  But I loved you and you were the kind of problem I wanted to have.  Or so I thought.

You were the highest of highs… and the lowest of lows.

You were the nightmare that rivaled the imaginary monsters that used to scare me during my childhood.  You were the storm that refused to pass, the constant downpour that convinced me that I would never, again, get to feel the warmth of the sun.  You were the barrier, the obstacle, the ten-foot wall – the reason why I struggled to move forward and constantly felt stuck.

When you left, you left me broken.  I became nothing more than an empty shell, a body missing both a heart and a soul.  When I lost you, I wasn’t just grieving the loss of our relationship.  I was grieving the death of me.

One year has passed, and I still miss you sometimes.

However, hindsight is always 20/20.

Your presence was a gift.  Little did I know your absence would leave me an even better present:  the opportunity to rebuild.

I could not bear to listen to music without being reminded of you.  So I traded in your beats to find comfort in self-development gurus narrating their works, sending me hope and encouraging messages through the airwaves.  All of the time I devoted to you became absorbed by my career. Newly discovered passions became fueled by the energy I would have otherwise spent on you. Your warm embrace was replaced by the supporting hands of the most surprising set of friends who lifted me up when I did not have the strength to stand or the will to carry on.  I no longer had your love (that is, if I ever did), but I had something better—mylove.

The void in my life and hole in my heart no longer felt like sad empty spaces.  They became rooms that I could decorate and fill with new experiences; new memories, new hobbies, and a newfound appreciation for life.   How the many areas of my life began to flourish with the abundance of this new love.  My renewed confidence allowed accomplish more than I ever imagined possible with or without you my life.  Even if there were days I missed you and wished you were with me (and trust me, there were many), I knew I was with the person I really needed to be with: me. 

You taught me that ripping the chapter entitled “us” out of my life story meant having an incomplete narrative.  You are a far greater influence in my life than I would ever have dreamed or imagined.  The role you played in my life was significant, and it was one that you played very, very well.  You were the catalyst that highlighted all of the things in need of change.  As the old adage goes, the best kinds of relationships are the ones that make us want to become better versions of ourselves.  Although you are not here to see how far I’ve come or how much growth has taken place, just know that you were the one who helped me evolve and grow.

Even though you have become nothing but a fragment of a broken memory, I still hold you in the highest regard as the man who, in the most profound way, taught me what it meant to love.

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for you. 

 

This post previously appeared on Thought Catalog