I think about how lazy I am. And stupid. I tell myself I’ll go running tonight. Or tomorrow morning. I count all the time I will not be reading or learning anything while I’m running. And at the same time the truth pops into my head: if I go running my focus will be a lot better and I’ll be able to read faster.
The embryonic beginnings of a paunch start to bug me. I touch the excess body space and it disgusts me. And then I’m digusted by the fact that I’m so disgusted by something as mundane, as trivial as the embryonic beginnings of a paunch. I mean, somewhere in China a little girl is slaving 12 hours a day stitching shoes together, but here I am looking as depressed as a Thai guy whose seen his house washed away by a Tsunami, because I feel 15 pounds overweigth. I feel guilty for treating this as a big problem. And then I feel extra stupid for not solving this small problem, because all it takes is regular exercise. An hour of exercise a day would be enough to fix it.
Then I start thinking about buying a treadmill. First I worry about the price. Then I worry about how my girlfriend will frown, because of the space it takes up in the house. Then I worry because I’m afraid even a treadmill won’t solve it. I’m afraid it will just stand there. At first I still have blissful fantasies where I see myself walking whole days on the treadmill and typing away on this i-pad at the same time. And then I see it standing there, idle, as one of the more perfect symbols of modern society: a treadmill and a desperate couch patatoe staring at it, not running on it.
That’s the point where I promise myself I’ll go running every day as of tomorrow. And then my mind wanders to my biggest obstacle when it comes to running: that people will see me. I hate it when people can see me running. But most of all I hate the mad roaring streets I have to cross to get to the quiet path along the town river where I run. So perhaps a treadmill is the solution after all.
But then my mind wanders back to the time when I did go running at least three times a week, for an average 20 miles or so a week. Nothing too crazy, but enough to be in shape, to have focus, to cure the thing we call ADHD in our society, which to me is nothing more than the ‘no regular exercise and too much television and social media disease’. What made me go running in those days? Whence came the motivation, the solid habit, and where did it go to? I wanted to impress my dad who was still alive back then, but that wasn’t the only reason. I wanted to look good for girls, but that’s not the reason either. I greatly admired the spartans, that’s true. I lost that admiration a bit. Perhaps I’m less proud. Back then I would be mortified to go around looking the way I look now. So how did I get to become less proud? People still criticize me for being too proud today, but so what if losing my pride makes me stop running? I want my pride back!
Then I think that perhaps I need a running partner. Social pressure will do it.
Or no, I’ll offer clients to have running therapy, to hold our therapy sessions while we are running. A business reflex will make me go running.
Or no, I’ll write a play in which it is absolutely necessary I go out on stage showing a chiseled six pack. An artistic motivation will do the trick.
And then finally, finally, I come to the truth. The only way to go running is to kick myself to it. When I did go running regularly my mind treated me like that drill sergeant in the movie Full Metal Jacket. There is no smooth way to running regularly for me or to getting anything done. The only way I get to do it, is when I allow my mind to turn into that drill sergeant who will bully the shit out of me, dumb, lazy impractical, loafing, overthinking sack of mildew beans that I am.
What will make me go running is accepting the fact that I fucking hate running. But I love to hate it. Because selfhatred used to be my engine. Is this making any sense? It’s true, my biggest engine used to be self hatred. I’m going to chew on that a little bit. And see if I have to rekindle my selfhatred to become more active. I’ll do anything to get more things done, you see.