Saturday, May 31, 2014

it doesn't count unless you finish

"It doesn't count unless you finish."

I said this to F. while we ran together this morning. The ocean quietly rocked forward and back to our right, and the sun, already done with its own version of warming up, was bright and hot on our backs. We were in the first mile of our 10K race and I was huffing a bit too hard between getting thoughts out. I might need to back off in the second half, I told him. I start strong and fade, this is my problem. We talked about finishing well and how hard it is. In this race, crossing the finish line was the only way the run would count for anything.

I was thinking about running, but I was also thinking about writing. Honestly, the decision to write a blog post every day this month was a spur of the moment decision, and I had plenty of my typical "oh crap what did I get myself into" moments. But with the exception of three days without posts (were you counting?), I finished. And I feel like I finished strong. 

I thought about making a list of the stats from this month: number of words, number of posts, number of page views. But that's not what's important to me. Instead, a short list of things that happened as a result of writing every day this month.

I noticed that my posts can be grouped into a few categories, and writing each type gave me a feel for which I like best, which were the most fun, and some of the things I'd like to work on. Your comments (online and off) gave me a feel for where things were hitting (so thank you).

I actually had something to write about every day. Sometimes I thought of ideas during morning runs or on the drive to work, and other times I just started typing and something formed. This last kind of situation is important practice for me because so often I want to come with clearly formed thoughts and ideas to convey, and that deters me from just starting.

I also made time and energy to write every day, even during a time when work is busy (and taking a fair amount of brain space), while traveling, and while staying fairly busy this month.

Some friends found out about my blog because it was part of my daily routine - they saw me doing it, or I told them about needing to make time for it.

I came up with some new material to explore for publishing. And I realized that I really do want to explore publishing, and that I think I could do it.

Posting quickly and without much editing (and overthinking) helped me to gain both confidence and humility. I'm ok with where I'm at, which is both skilled/practiced and needing practice and feedback.


*   *   *
F. and I reached the end of the bike path in Malibu, touched the bench, and turned around to run back the way we came. Soon after the halfway mark, F. got distracted by water fountains and some other women he wanted to talk to (he is easily distracted, this one). At that point, T. was with us as well, about as quiet and calm and F. is chatty and bouncy. T. and I got into a good rhythm, quiet and steady, checking in with each other every once in a while. I stopped at one point to look for F. but realized he wasn't looking to catch us, so I turned around and kept moving forward. 

T. pulled slightly ahead of me to cross the finish a few steps before. When I crossed, I got some high fives and my finishing number, then looked for some water. 

It felt good to finish and know that it counted.

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