Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity. ~St. Augustine
I want you guys to know something.
I have bad habits.
Several bad habits.
Sometimes, I throw my dirty clothes on the floor and don't pick them up for days. DAYS, I tell ya!
I pick my teeth in public from time to time. I know it's gross, but it's a habit. It happens.
I have this annoying way of nodding my head and saying "uh huh" as people are talking. Although I know that this is a horrible characteristic and implies that I'm not actually listening (even though I am), I still do it. It's a habit.
These are just a few of the little quirky things that make me "me". They're manageable. They're things that won't drasticaly change my life one way or another.
The ones that I worry about are the new habits. The habits that I've developed over the past 6 months. The habits that tell me at lunch time that I should skip my planned workout because I can work out "tonight". Then, when "tonight" comes, those damn habits assure me that it's OK--I can just work out "tomorrow". Then, those same habits cause me to become fused to my sofa after 6:30PM Monday through Friday. These are also the same habits that make me get up from said sofa to snack on multiple things between the hours of 7:30-10:30PM.
Sometimes, the word "binge" even echoes in my mind.
I'm not sure whether it's me who is speaking that word, if it's the new habits talking, or if it's the ghost of eating disorder past. No matter the source, when that "binge" word comes up, I react.
I feel out of control.
Out of touch.
Out of practice.
Out of belt loops.
I recognize that there are times when I reach this point in my life. Times when I've gone from working out and eating sensibly for a long period of time, and then I hit some sort of life challenge, and things fall off for me. I become physically lazy. I just want to be at home. I want to sit and think [or not think at all, and instead just watch Housewives of Beverly Hills].
The past year has been a challenge for me. I went from constantly race training in 2009--from my first 1/2 marathon to my first 10K, then my first 15K, and finishing up with my first marathon--to feeling like a big slacker in 2010. I realize that I did a 1/2 marathon and my first two triathlons during 2010, but admittedly, I could have done much more. Admittedly, I put in about 40% of the effort that I could have.
I'm not telling you this out of guilt or remorse. I'm telling you because it is what it is. I know I can do better, and I've learned many lessons over the past two years in terms of my athletic goals and abilities.
I know that I want to run. I also know that I want to feel fit.
I have learned that in order to take ourselves from a place of "bad habit" to a life of "good habits", we need to feel motivated. I have also learned that one of my largest forms of motivation is feeling as though I am making a difference and helping others get motivated.
While I was training for my races, nothing made me happier than receiving an email or comment from someone telling me that I inspired them to try something that they've never done before. As cliche as it all sounds, for me, that makes all of my hard work worth it in the end.
Last night, we had our inaugural meeting of the Team Rep Your City (TRYC--pronounced "Trike") Running Club. I was intimidated by the prospect of joining (and being part of the launch of) a running club, because I'm not a very good runner.
I'm slow, I become injured, I snot all over myself...these are not the marks of a true runner.
However, when I started learning about the people who were interested in joining the running club, I was overjoyed to find out that they were mostly all beginners. I was immediately excited with the prospect of being able to make a difference and help others find their love for running.
Although I don't always like running, I definitely love running, and like most people who are not particularly athletic, when I first started running, I never thought that I could even run a mile. I like being living proof that anyone can be a runner, no matter how good they initially think they'll be at it.
The greatest thing about TRYC is that it has motivated me to change my bad habits back into good ones. I will get off of the sofa, and I will remember why I love being outside running, sweating, becoming myself again. Starting today.
Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow. ~Yiddish Proverb
What motivates you?