The first “official” day of summer just passed, and it feels like it. This morning I had one of those runs that lets you know summer is here to stay.
The sweltering heat, like a dragon peeking over your shoulder while checking your Facebook feed.
The oppressive humidity, like stepping out your front door into a Jello mold past its prime.
The stale, hot breeze, like walking through the exhaust cloud of a semi hauling boiled cabbage.
And all this at 5 o’clock in the morning, before the sun is up!
It was one of those runs that teaches you the value of a nice, long, cool drink of water. You get back to the house after five miles in heat like that, and you want nothing more than to jump in an ice bath and guzzle a few gallons straight from the kitchen sink.
And nobody would blame you for not running when the weather is like this. God invented air conditioning for a reason, right? Maybe it’ll cool off next week.
Still, the runner needs these runs. The weather is not always sixty-two degrees with patchy cloud cover and a cadre of angels following you around to blow cooling breezes up your butt. If that’s what you need in order to get outside, you’re dooming yourself to the couch with the rest of the schlubs who “take up running” for a few weeks in April. I see them twice every year — wheezing and puffing around the mall because they haven’t put in the work, they just sat around waiting for the perfect conditions so they could put in work.
Which is the same as a would-be author sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike while he binge-watches another season of The Bachelor, or the would-be dieter buying another week’s worth of chips and cookies and sodas because, well, with family coming in to visit this week, and that company bowling night on Thursday, this just isn’t the week to start dieting.
Make no mistake — weather like this is not fit to run in!
But we get out there and run anyway. Not because it feels awesome (though it still kinda can, once you’re crazy enough), but because it keeps us in shape so that when the weather is good, we can run free like a flock of gazelles bounding across the savannah, and not like a bunch of tubby, hibernation-starved polar bears trying to run down an elk. (Can a polar bear run down an elk? Sharknado.)
And we write anyway, even when the words flow more like syrup than like water, so that when the rare buffalo of inspiration trots by, we have the agility and the insanity to leap on that buffalo and ride it until we fall off from exhaustion. Without the practice, without the bloody-headed tenacity that writing every day teaches, we’d get bucked within seconds.
Point is, we have to put in the work even when the work sucks.
There’s always a drink of water at the end of the run.
This weekly remotivational post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Every weekend, I use Linda G. Hill’s prompt to refocus my efforts and evaluate my process, sometimes with productive results. This week’s post was very little about process, but it made me laugh anyway — deal with it!