Sometimes I feel like a pug running down the road. Usually it’s when I am running down the road…pretty much literally, feeling that feeling of bulluppp, bulllupppp, bullllyyyppp, bulllluppp…and the wheezing and gasping that comes 500 metres into the trip. Is it any wonder it takes me forever to talk myself into running. Every few months I get motivated to go out for a run, remembering how good I felt after the run, how good I felt to say I went for a run, how good I felt thinking ‘I am a runner’, all the while forgetting how it actually feels while I run…like I am an old pug. No disparity toward pugs; they are adorable, loving and great companions, but along with the doggy gifts they have, they come with some doggy shortcomings as well, and not just short legs. Anywhoo… Sometimes I feel like I am dealing with those same shortcomings both literally as well as figuratively, in many areas of life.
So last week having done a lot of steps through the week, going for my first bike ride of the season and being in a challenge I didn’t want to just give up on… AND having a busy and somewhat stressful day ahead of me on Friday, I mustered up the mental fortitude to hit the pavement jogging rather than walking. I have always maintained I prefer running over walking because it takes way less time to go the same distance. I didn’t have much time so it seemed a logical choice at the time. After some debate and a couple shiny objects delaying the start, I set out. Five hundred metres down the road, that puggy feeling hit me and I remembered why I hadn’t run in almost two months. I start feeling better at the one km mark and started to think…hmmm, while I am already out here I should go a bit further than 2 km. I have learned to not listen to THAT voice as often, so I did my 2 km and walked a little.
With the run and subsequent shower behind me, I was on top of the world as I set out for the day. I had good energy and felt wonderful and wondered at my lack of motivation to go out to run all the time. That’s when I remembered how I felt running and at which point I pretty much wrote this whole post in my head. I love the idea of running, I love how I feel after running, I love telling people I ran, I love how I feel telling people I ran haha. BUT I don’t really love running, at least not the beginning of the run. Funny, the sermon this weekend was about this very thing; how we love the idea of something but the follow through is not the dream we were dreaming.
There are a lot of other things in life where metaphorically I feel like a pug. Pretty much any new venture is like that. I think it’s a great idea and start out, only to find I am struggling with it, maybe physically I am not so coordinated, mentally not as coordinated (can’t remember the terminology, the words, what I just read or heard) and feeling like I am out of place doing things in a world where everyone else seems coordinated. And then there is that breathing thing. It sometimes feels like I can’t catch my breath as I am trying to learn a whole bunch at once, or like I am drowning in information and don’t know where to go next. That feeling of needing to take a deep breath but getting hit again with a detail I have overlooked. Wanting to just breathe normally but feeling like I need to keep running.
Then it happens, things settle, I know more, I am more comfortable in the journey, and my breathing slows. When I have reached the milestone of the task I struggled with, I feel great. I can say I ran, I can share the experience and it feels good to say, ‘I did it’. And whereas I liked the idea before doing it, not knowing the struggle, I like the feeling of accomplishment after even more…because…I did it despite the struggle. I did it.
I went out for a run today again. It still took some convincing for me to go, but today I did remember how good I felt Friday. I ran about two km again. Then I walked another four so had some extra time to listen to the podcasts I downloaded. The run was a little easier today than Friday, possibly the bike ride this weekend also helped, probably because I ran Friday, and probably because I had a better mindset going out.
Sometimes things sound good, they sound like fun but when we are doing them they might not be so much fun. I talk a lot about cycling and how much I love it, and I do, but there are a lot of times, it doesn’t feel like fun in the moment. There are a lot of times it is a struggle, or it just isn’t feeling fun, times when my husband or I will ask one another, ‘Are we having fun yet?’ but we keep going or we start again. The reality is, the big things we do, the things that make us feel like we accomplished something, the things that make our world better, the journeys we take to learn things, to do things, to experience things are not always rainbows and butterflies but without those pug moments, without the bumps in the road and without the rain, the rainbows and butterflies at the end would not be such a blessing. So, I will continue to embrace my inner pug in sports and other life experiences, to experience life more fully through those moments and enjoy the rainbow and butterfly times even more.