I wont have been the first person to use the running writing metaphor. Murakami, Steven King and John Irving are just a few of the heavy hitters I can think of that have made the comparison. But anyway:
I had a hard time with my running recently. I think with work, writing and whole bunch of other things going on I’m just a bit tired. To then go to the gym and push myself is tough. I’m sure I’m not alone in this problem. But the other day I had a break through: stop pushing myself.
I used to be running at around 10kph with sprints at 16 kph and it would fairly take it out of me, so much so that the next day I didn’t want to do it again. But the other day I went on the treadmill and just sauntered along at a nice 8kph with a few sprints near the end. Normally I would be quite hard on myself for being lazy like this, but this time it was so much more enjoyable and not only did the time past quicker. Moreover, the next day I didn’t have to same negative feelings about going to the gym.
I think the thing is that I’ve reached a plateau with running. Either I want to put a lot more time into it or I can just stay doing as much as I am now. Without giving something up, like work or writing or martial arts, then there’s just not enough time for me to get better. The break through I’ve had with is: that’s okay.
It might be something that’s just me or it might be everybody, but I really have a problem doing something if I don’t feel I’m getting better at it. If I can’t see the improvement then I tend to give up. I’ve had the same thing with writing. While I think the quality of my writing has got better, I’ve not seen much improvement in sales. Likewise the new job I’m in has really left me little time for writing and while I’m putting in the effort, I’m still getting less done. But do you know what, that’s okay as well.
I think for me to be happy with both running and writing I have to learn accept my limits and shouldn’t give up when I reach them. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.