i’m my wonderwall

Plans keep me in the ballpark of Productive and Not Crazy, and a decent amount of distance from the marshlands of Deep Despair (where the ballparks were originally planned to be built, until zoning issues were discovered). Liking plans, and me, together, those are well-documented things. Every evening, I sit and I draw up a to-do list for the next day, and on the days I get through them–or even a reasonable number of action items–those are the good days, the happy days, the days where everything is worth it and life is a pretty sweet fruit.

It’s late on a Sunday, as I type this, and I haven’t made my plans for tomorrow yet. I’ve thought about my to-do list, and considered a handful of action items, and I know what I’ve got to take care of and what I want to take care of. And yet, I have not picked up my pen and made my neat date notation on the top line, started my list down the side of the page, with extra notes on the side for follow-up items. The notebook’s open, the pen’s next to it, the page is blank, and what is my problem?



One of the things I want to do tomorrow is run. Not on the treadmill,
but around the little park across the street from me. It’s about a
half-mile around, and there are trees and pretty houses to look at, and
it’s supposed to be a nice day, I think (I think? I haven’t checked. I
fear snow) and I’m excited, in theory, to get off the treadmill and
start running the way god and nature intended. But it’s the first thing
on my list to do tomorrow–well, get up, and then run, and then shower,
and then etcetera, and then etcetera–and I am hesitating. Pausing.
Freezing up. Shy. That’s what it is. I’m shy about going out in my
running pants and my running shirt and my running shoes and flinging
myself around the block in front of just anyone who could come walking
down the street and look at me. They’re allowed to look at me! While I
run! Why am I doing this?

Because it’s easier than walking down to the gym? That’s a remarkable
strain of laziness and bizarre logic that should be preserved in amber
so that future generations might study it. Because running on land that
does not move is less easy and therefore better for you than running on
treadmills that move? Well, that is a true fact.  Because I like the
idea of running in the fresh air and enjoying the wide world and nature
so much more than running in place and looking at three television
stations? That is just smart. Because it is good for me, to be stared
at? It will toughen me up! And hey, maybe they don’t care if I am
running around in a circle, my neighbors. That’s entirely possible.

If I write down “run” on my list, I’m going to have to do it. I try to
do the things on my lists; I’m learning that not doing them is not
worth the Psychic Toll, which is painful and expensive and which I have
to pay in tears. Tragic, tiny gold tears. If I start not writing down the things I am afraid to do, or don’t want to do–well, that’s a very, very slippery slope, isn’t it?

I’m going to go write down
“run.” I will follow it with something encouraging like “(only
obligated to go around once! twice would be bonus and then you can have
a pony)” and maybe that will help. Something has loosened up in my
chest, so I think that has probably helped. I am easy to fool.
Sometimes this is a liability, such as when I get spam from Nigeria.
Sometimes it is cardiovascularly useful and might also be the thing
that saves me, in the end, from myself.

  5 comments for “i’m my wonderwall

  1. April 7, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Oooh. Outside running! That rules!

  2. Katie S.
    April 7, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    When I want to work out, and I do, it is like I have slayed a tiny dragon of fear. And everytime I slay the dragon the smaller it gets until sometimes I get up and think “yay! I get to go swim/ride my bike!” (I don’t run – I hate running).

    At any rate, I’m friends and family members with quite a few really ambitious and talented athletes and guess what?

    They all feel the same way about working out! It is almost as if the actual push to just get up and do it is the best part of the whole work out.

  3. Nicole
    April 7, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Wow, want to hear something funny? When I read your line, “Sometimes this is a liability, such as when I get spam from Nigeria,” do you know what thought first crossed my mind? “Why is she getting CANNED HAM shipped to her all the way from Nigeria? Why can’t she just go to the supermarket?” Needless to say, I have since figured out what you meant, but the mind is a crazy thing. Sometimes I amuse myself with my own miscomprehension. Just thought I’d share.

  4. April 7, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I too am thinking about trying to run again, sounds like you are more advanced than me (not hard when it comes to running) but this inspires me and I hope that it starts to be easier for you to get out there. Transition time is the hardest thing for me in the process of doing just about anything. Once I get going it’s not really so hard but moving from one activity to the next or from inertia to momentum bogs me down. I’ve gotten better with it but I’m not sure that will ever fully disappear.

  5. April 10, 2008 at 1:46 am

    I do the same thing with my day – as a student, all the assignments and exams go in one column, and the “to-do” goes in another column. If “Visit the Lonely and Underloved Gym” does not make it into the To Do column, it does not happen.

    Also, I totally read that not doing the things on your list was not worth the Psychic Troll, a painful and expensive sadist who charges you in tears for each infraction. ;)

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