It’s a muscle and you have to exercise it

When I first started running it felt like such a slog. At the very beginning I would run from one telephone pole to the next, and then walk the same distance. And I did that for a really long time until one day I though, hmmm, I wonder if I could run the length of two telephone poles.  I could.  So I did that for a while.  Then I found a “get started running” guide in a magazine or online somewhere and decided to try that out.  And I got better.  It didn’t exactly get easier but it got more enjoyable and I was able to run for longer distances. Now I’m noticing real improvements in my speed, improvements that make me feel like I’m winning…even though I’m still not a fast runner.  

I have a little secret, though: I still like a run/walk pattern when I’m doing a long run.  I think it’s because a run/walk pattern helps me break it up in my mind, like I’m tricking myself into thinking I only have to run for 5 more minutes.  Plus it’s way faster.  Sounds strange, I know, but my average pace when I run/walk is much higher than when I just run.  So I will keep up my run/walk system.  It’s good for me and I like it.

But that’s not the point of this anyway.

For a long time I’ve had it in my head that I might like to write a book someday.  Not that I really know what it would be about or that anyone would be interested in reading it.  I’ve always enjoyed writing and also like the idea of writing “the great American novel.”  Because, you know, that’s what it would be, of course.

When I think about it I can come up with a million reasons why I shouldn’t write.  And most of them have to do with lack of inspiration, lack of time, and general questions about my ability to write anything worth reading.  But then I remember when I started running.  It was hard and I had to talk myself into it a lot of mornings. And at the beginning I just ran for 15 or 20 minutes. I didn’t just wake up one day and run 10 miles.  I had to work up to that kind of endurance.  And I still practice almost every day.  

I think writing might be like that.  I’m not going to wake up one morning and pound out the great American novel.  More likely, I’m going to struggle to write for 15 minutes a day.  But then something will start to click and some days I’ll write for a couple of hours.  And maybe it won’t ever be that illusive great novel.  But maybe it will be something I love and that makes me happy. 

And that’s enough for me.


One thought on “It’s a muscle and you have to exercise it

  1. I’m so glad I remembered to come back here and read this! I love your analogy of training for running and training for writing — so right on! I too have struggled with the how-to of writing — what idea to pick, what genre, why would anyone ever want to read what I write — and on and on and on. I’ve had a double-dose of conviction this week. Dose one came from King David. God has seated me in Psalm 131 for a while and as I’ve meditated on that I started thinking about the man through whom this Psalm came. David was King, for crying out loud, and had so many things on his plate not the least of which was the welfare of an entire people entrusted to his leadership. Yet this man found time to post a regular ancient mid-eastern ‘blog’ of his relationship with God that still blesses my socks off today! He didn’t even have computer or internet or anything, but I wonder how many hits a day his musing get? (Of course he likely had a scribe … or a team of scribes!)

    And now dose two of conviction comes through you! I will pray for you Kristin as you begin the 15 minute a day training writing. Your running inspires me and I often wonder what it must feel like to come in from a run, drenched and tired but an oh so good tired. Your writing also inspires me as I’ve never left one of your blog entries without something to think on or agree with or disagree with or wonder at. Keep up the great work — I hear a calling on your life and I love seeing you answer it! 🙂

    As I said on your birthday, I’m proud and blessed (okay I added that) to call you daughter!

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