Embrace The Suck

My husband makes running look easy. If you are one of the few people up at the ungodly hour that he runs and happen to catch a glimpse of him gliding by your house you might assume that running comes naturally to this fast, skinny runner. But you would be wrong. He works at it and he works hard. He comes home after his run hobbling around, avoiding the stairs and grunting a little every time he sits down or has to stand back up. I tell you this not to spill secrets but to reassure you. Running, whether you are running slow or fast is hard. It sometimes just plain sucks. But I am here to tell you to embrace the suck.

I tell you this because having taken the job at Spark Running, I am faced every day with people who say to me, I hate running. I know you love it but I just find it difficult. This always takes me aback because I do not enjoy most of my runs. And even though I try to explain that I feel the exact same way, most people do not believe me. After all, I am Ann from Ann’s Running Commentary. I write about running every day. I must love it, right?

I will not deny that there are days when I do love it. Yesterday at the Revolution Run in Annapolis, running with friends who I have known for only a few years and some who I have known most of my adult life, I loved running. I loved being with people who would get up on New Year’s Day just to get in their run with friends. I even loved that at some point during that run I felt a bit of a high. But that was the exception. Most runs are hard. Most runs are work. And to be honest, it is the difficulty of the act that makes me do it.

How many rewards have you won in life without work? How many benefits have come to you because you did nothing? I would venture to say, not many. If I running were easy, it would not be rewarding. There would probably not be benefits. I know that by running, by breaking a sweat and getting my heart pumping that I am earning a healthier body and mind. I know that by dealing with the suck I am gaining something that I can take into other areas of my life.

I do not love running. At least I don’t love every run. But I do love the suck. I do love knowing that I will push myself out that door even when it is going to be difficult because I love knowing that I am tough enough to do that. And I believe that everybody who reads this blog, everybody who walks in Spark Running, everybody who thinks about lacing up a pair of running shoes is just that tough.

Today, I challenge you to embrace the suck.