Friday, July 04, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Week 27

Running Track

Otherwise known as...You have to be kidding me, right?

It’s been a long time since I made it to the cross country finish line and the ribbons I won for my efforts back then are long lost. 

Those who know, say running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going. 

I ignored those arguments and laced up my running shoes, this week. My accept the one word challenge from my 52 Dates for Writers book ~ RUN.

Did I want to kickstart a running routine? No. 
Did I want to improve my fitness through running? No.
Did I want to kill my lungs on a lonely road where only the crazies go? No, no, no!

But I did want to know why some writers fit running into their writing regime. And so I pushed at the part of my brain that told me I had no hope of running a full lap of the football oval. Oh, I would run, and gulp down all the oxygen my brain needed to knock off a few stellar chapters when I got home. I pondered words like endorphin and rush, and other such nonsense. 

Water Stop
Surprise, surprise, on day one I didn’t even run the whole way. I stopped to die in an upright position so the poor couple walking their dog behind me wouldn’t have to peel me off the running track.

Barely recovered from the fire in my throat, I carried on. I ran over another stretch of concrete until my lungs gave out. But I resumed my run as soon as I told myself it could be done. I had no choice. I’d left my water bottle at my starting point in a sneaky move to ensure I'd at least clock up ONE lap.

But my brain was even sneakier. Even better than completing one lap was the crazy whisper I could manage a second one. So I pushed on. I listened to the rhythm of my feet, my laboured breathing, making note of the changes in speed when I slowed and when I found the energy to pick up the pace. 

On day two of my challenge, I added an extra lap. Not because I was enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong. It’s because I wanted to come home with more than I’d achieved the day before. And with my brain awakening to the possibilities, I talked myself into it. 

Just keep running to the communal bbq, then you can stop. 
Just until you reach the change in colour in the concrete path.
You can stop when you’ve passed the footy goals. 

And on it went. The slow, painful convincing I could go further.

And that’s when it hit me. Running is another way of going beyond what I believe I’m capable of. Another stretching of my mind (never mind the poor legs and lungs) which changes my default position.

And how does this translate to the writer in me, other then the desire to kill off the emergent runner?

Taking the lane home 
If yesterday's attempt saw three laps, could today's equal four? If I can do this, maybe when I get home I can knock off the synopsis writing I’m putting off. Maybe, there’s an unwritten limit under my feet, and when I find it... it’s possible to exceed it. And apply it to my writing.

Golden moment. This is when I started humming Chariots of Fire. 

And I ran all the way home. 

Did you read that? 

I ran home. 

I added the uphill lane for good measure because, maybe, some of those endorphins were playing happy music and my brain said it could be done.

Are you a runner? 
Do you hate the idea of running... anywhere? 

Whether you lace up the running shoes or not, blessings for a wonderful weekend,