Monday, April 13, 2009

Running Anyway

Running every day may not bring the changes you dream about. Run anyway.

Eleven weeks ago, some friends and I decided to put on our own…uh…“friendly” Biggest Loser Competition. I decided to commit myself full-heartedly to trying to win. My strategy: run my butt off.

So for the past eleven weeks, I’ve picked up my running schedule. A lot. Four days a week, maybe five. At least 3.1 miles at a time, but over 5 miles twice a week. That’s a lot of running. And because I’m way too addicted to Excel, I have graphs: one to track my miles, and one to track my weight loss. There are pretty colors and everything. I even had perfect attendance at the gym last month. It’s the first time a female has been part of the “Platinum Club” in quite a while. “Runnin' Regina” is even on track for a repeat performance this month.

But after a brief dip, I’m back and holding steady right at my starting weight. Talk about frustrating! (And please hold any well meaning advice about a healthy diet. Yes, I know burning calories is only half the battle. Yes, I eat smart.) I really want that line to look like a slide and not so much like a –v^–. I have probably whined a little too much about this particular frustration lately to my friends. And I decided something: I’m going to do it anyway.

As luck would have it, my friend Katie posted a quote that corresponds very nicely to my decision: "Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections."

So, my graphs may not make the picture I want to see, but I’m sure my plan is doing good. I’ve discovered the joy of a good running rhythm. The hour or so I spend running has become some great “me” time. In December, I struggled to finish a 5-mile run. Now I can run that distance several times a week. The scale may stay the same, but there are days when I feel thinner. (Unfortunately, my attempts to air out my “skinny” clothes have so far produced less than stellar results.)

But it doesn’t matter. I’m committed. I’m looking beyond the imperfections. I’m going to do it anyway.

Do you have anything in your life like this? Areas where you’re investing and making effort and things just don’t seem to be changing?

Maybe like my running, the benefit is lurking outside the graph. Maybe it’s the kind of thing where the good builds up and kicks in later.

Or maybe it’s just a good thing to do. Will you look beyond the graph and run anyway?


  1. That is really tough - putting a lot of effort into something that doesn't seem to make any difference. Good job sticking with it!

  2. I'm glad you've decided to look beyond your graphs (which are super awesome - I'm totally jealous of them). I've been experiencing a similar thing with life in general. My circumstances haven't changed, even the ones that I'm actively working on, but my outlook has and that makes it easier to plug along. Keep pushing at it and keep looking past the traditional measurements of success. I'm sure you'll reach your goal eventually. And if it takes some time, at least you have a good attitude about it.