It’s age, I guess. Increasingly, the things I used to do to break the routine and defy the rat race feel like part of the rat race. Running used to feel like an act of freedom and rebellion. “Look, I’m doing something demanding that is not required!” It was a way of proving that the other demands of my life didn’t own me. I took some kind of perverse pride in the loneliness of long distance running. These days, it’s like, what am I trying to prove? And to whom? I’m a fair-weather runner these days, prefer running with friends, look forward to the post-run beer as much as the run itself. And almost never run on the dreadmill any more, no matter how many miles I haven’t run that week.
When running – or anything you used to love, or thought you loved – starts to feel like work, you need to question why you’re doing it. I’ve been questioning running lately, and writing, and other things that I did because I felt like I should. It’s a little scary to let them go. Does it mean I’m giving up? Losing my passion for life? But I can say that is definitely not the case. And you know why? Because I was far closer to putting a bullet through my head two years ago than I am today.
It’s dark and rainy and 50 degrees outside right now. It’s running night, but I’m not going to run in this. Just had a friend say, “Do the dreadmill – you never regret a workout afterwards…………only when you skip it.” Maybe so. But I’d prefer to do something I don’t regret during as well as after. Cleaning the garage, submitting job applications, reading a book, or even posting a blog. There’s an opportunity cost to everything, and running takes time.
Maybe that’s what’s changing. I’m more aware that time is running out.