This weekend I ran 10k for the first time.
Not a particularly exciting athletic achievement, I know, but it is 10k more than I used to run at the beginning of this miserable year, so a little bragging is warranted.
I started running out of a need to go outside.
Exercising was one of the very few legitimate reasons to be outdoors during the lockdown in the UK. No matter how little I cared for running, after the first few weeks of confinement I realized that, for the sake of my mental and physical health, I had to go outside.
My first run was incredibly uncomfortable. I was sweaty, sore, and out of breath, even though it lasted only five minutes.
I swore I wouldn’t do it again. But we were in lockdown and, without much else to do, I went out to run again the next day.
I was still sweaty, sore, and out of breath, but I could run for a minute longer than the previous day. I felt a hint of pride underneath the pain and discomfort.
Every time I put on my running shoes in the morning, I am chasing that feeling again.
There is something strangely rewarding about making a consistent effort to become marginally better at something that makes me uncomfortable, no matter how insignificant my efforts might seem compared to the results of better athletes.
I guess that also explains why I continue writing every day.