You are running. Your body heat is rising to an uncomfortable temperature. Your sweat coats your skin and runs down your forehead as you keep trying to wipe the excess away. All you are conscious of is your shaky breath spurting out, your labour to breathe it in fully, and the upbeat music banging in your ears. Suddenly, your steps start to falter and you become engulfed with the reality of how hard it is to keep going without seeing the immediate results.
This sounds like me. Recently I’ve taken up running. I wake up at six in the morning before my kids are up, and I go running. I’m not even a morning person! There are two reasons why I decided to start this gruelling habit.
- I was curious as to what it felt like. I hear of all these health-conscious people doing this insane routine (yes, I still think it’s crazy to wake up so early in the morning to run even though I’m sticking with it).
- Although I’ve come back to my original weight after three kids, I want to keep firm and toned. Cardio is going to do that for me.
When I get to those moments where I feel like giving up, I get a second wind. I only get to my second wind by determination. I keep going by sheer will until the payoff comes, and I feel like flying.
It’s not true that nothing in life is easy. There are shortcuts, there are hijacks.The question is should we encourage ourselves to use them? Sure, it feels good in the now; but in the long run, you’ll regret that you didn’t push yourself and build character.
Not only have I experienced this in my newfound exercise regiment but also recently in my writing. For the last month and a half, I’ve been going through the motions of making myself write just for the sake of writing every day, not because I was inspired or because I desperately wanted to. Then last week, my tank of inspiration was overflowing. I made great headway in my second novel. Right now I’m at the end of Chapter 5. Can you imagine if I hadn’t written two chapters for a whole month, I would only be at the end of Chapter 3 right now? I would have wasted all the precious writing time because I didn’t feel like it or I wasn’t inspired.
Sometimes we need to keep going not because it feels good (feelings come and go) but because it’s our duty. It’s my duty to take care of the body God gave me by exercising. It’s my duty to myself and my readers to keep writing.
Going the hard way—you’ll have no regrets.