Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Unsurprising Correlation Between Running and Writing

I've started running.

I bought new running sneakers from TJ Maxx. I found a beginner's 5K training plan on Pinterest. I set an attainable goal - the Every Angeleno Counts 5K to support Homeboy Industries in October. I found a local park that lets me run circles on the dirt path without distraction. I downloaded a set timer app to guide my walk/run interval training. And I track my daily progress on my new/old hand-me-down Fitbit.

Oh, and one more thing -

I hate running.

That's right, I absolutely despise every second of it. I get bored instantly, it feels uncomfortable, I constantly want to stop and go home. I have yet to experience a euphoric endorphin rush, or perhaps no wave of hormones can withstand the power of my dislike. All I know is when I'm running, I would rather be doing anything instead of running.

But even after running just 3-4 times a week this month, I have made an unsettling discovery -

I love the feeling of having run.

When I get home from a run, after pushing myself through all the discomfort and agony, I feel frickin' fantastic. My body feels powerful and my spirit is high. I get to be one of those people who says "I went for a run today" and mean it! Love, love, love it.

Then it hit me this morning - my struggles with running are exactly the same as my struggles with writing. With both, getting started is the hardest part. Then there's the overwhelming feeling of wanting to quit that I need to push past. And if I can get past that bump, it's somewhat smooth sailing. Interval writing is the best method for gearing up for longer writing. And the feeling of having written is the best.

I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose. Finding success in both running and writing starts with discipline, dedication, and determination.

I've taken similar steps to drive success in my writing. I bought blank journals I love from TJ Maxx. I set attainable goals - write every day and work toward finishing my next pilot script. I found coffee shops and other spots for writing all over town. I downloaded the Amazon Music app to listen to film soundtracks while I write. And I track my daily progress on social media and by joining Camp Nanowrimo for July.

And I similarly love the feeling of having written. There's no better sensation in the world, in fact. Being one of those people that can say "I finally cracked my main character's backstory today" is the best because it denotes forward momentum. And forward momentum is what all writers crave.

Here's another unsettling discovery -

When I run, I write.

It fits so naturally. I'm still cooling down when I sit down with my notebook and start spilling out my thoughts. I take a break to make some breakfast, but then I'm right back to my words. Writing, writing, writing.

So now I have two areas of my life that require self-encouragement and discipline - running and writing. Hopefully discovering how they feed each other will help keep both endeavors on track. 


  1. Yes!!! so glad you found running Teresa! It sounds like we started our training programs around the same time. This summer I started the couch to 5k (for like the 4th time) and started running the program with a friend. Here we are 9 weeks later, the program is done and I have the "itch".. yup, I literally got up from my desk at 3pm and went down to the gym for a run. lol I just had too. now I feel way better because you are so right, the feeling you get after a run is amazing! I also do some incredible thinking when I'm running. Congrats on your newfound vice. You will reep many benefits from it. :-)

    1. And please pardon any and all of my typographical errors. thank you.