The first 10 minutes of my daily morning run are always the worst. As I slowly make my way down the block, my joints and muscles hurt, my breathing is uneven, and I often wish I was back in my cozy apartment. Thanks to the recent clock change, the sun is barely up. I have a dissertation to write, books to read, work piling up, unanswered emails that really need answers. Why am I running, especially in the freezing cold, when there is so much else I need to do?
This cranky voice in my brain prattles on as I put one foot in front of the other. And around minute 10 something starts to happen. The cranky voice gets quieter and eventually gives up. The flow finds me. My spirit lifts.
By the time I get to 30 minutes, I’m not ready to go inside. The endorphins are winning. I thank myself for persevering.
These daily runs are a good reminder that beginnings are often fraught with difficulty. We doubt. We question. We get distracted. We think about quitting, or at least pivoting, before we give ourselves a real shot to succeed. We contemplate doubling back and just doing what we’ve always done because it’s safe and familiar.
Maybe you’re at the beginning of something in your life or career. Maybe a door is closing and you’ve yet to find a window to crawl through next.
Consider staying with the trouble. Consider why you started. Consider what might happen if things go to plan instead of falling down in midflight. Maybe all you need to do is give yourself a bit more time, grace, and room to run.