6 Comments

Running Makes Me a Better Writer; I Bet It Would Work For You, Too.

From Flickr user Robin McConnell

From Flickr user Robin McConnell

I used to feel outright hostile toward fitness/body progress shared on social media.*

So I asked myself why.

All I could come up with was dumb fear that:

a) I will be judged when I backslide,

b) I will be judged because I am still chubby, even though I exercise,

c)I will become one of those one-gong bangers and ONLY post about fitness.

Here is why I have decided to change.

a) Fuck people who judge.

b) see letter a.

c) Why would I ever worry about that? I am far too interesting with too many pursuits and obsessions to limit myself to posting about fitness.

In case you are also loathe to mention progress on social media, I encourage you to adopt a self-restricting policy: I allow myself one weekly post (on Facebook only) about fitness, typically after my first running workout of the week, and typically discussing my amazement that I continue to make progress and it ain’t even that ouchy.

This one had twenty-five likes + a half dozen comments

This one had twenty-five likes + a half dozen comments

NOW.

All the exercise bloggers and google searches you can imagine will tell you that exercise helps you sleep better.

That is truth.

I get good rest, and I require fewer hours of it, then I wake up with beautiful, fully-formed thoughts happening in my head, which often, eventually, make it to the page.

Running between 1.5 and 2 hours each week with increasing intensity has, in the first five weeks alone, given me back more energy and a more whole sense of wellness than two years of more Zumba than that (even though I still love Zumba and go when I am not feeling too shin-splinty/muscle achy).

More energy means I do things–even dumb small things like bending over and picking up a sock, or putting shoes in the closet or doing the dishes instead of sitting round thinking about how I’m too bushed to do those things. My body feels better, so I am more efficient which means, you guessed it, more time for writing.

And also more food. I love food.

Running is trusting your body.

Writing is trusting your mind.

This is a symbiotic relationship, and weekly practice helps me extend that self-trust to other areas which is a thing I struggle with.

Getting sweaty reduces stress.

Reducing stress reduces anxiety.

Lower anxiety means fewer excuses about why I am not writing, fewer minutes wasted fighting with my inner critic.

And sharing about it on Facebook means I get support and kudos from friends. I hear their stories about running which helps keep me going. I remember that my friend who runs the NY Marathon told me she didn’t lose a bit of weight for six months after she started running, that another friend started with Couch to 5K three years ago and now runs triathlons. And then, people share with me things like this, to which I shall submit before summer’s end. And this, which gave me laughs and warmed me from my bellybutton to my nose, twice.

Also, the most helpful thing I’ve ever found on reddit is the running subreddit. LOADS of good info and experiences.

What about you? Do you run? Do you post about fitness on Facebook? What do you think of all this?

*I’m still not sure about the weight loss progress bathroom mirror selfies, ugh.

6 comments on “Running Makes Me a Better Writer; I Bet It Would Work For You, Too.

  1. Bathroom mirror selfies are 98% gross and weird.
    As to the other stuff, I hate running. I hate it. I wish that I didn’t and I wish that I could actually do it, but I can’t. So instead I hate it.
    I hate that my lungs snap closed at the first step above a walk, and I hate that my knees scream in pain when I pick up my pace even a little. And I hate that I move ungracefully, like a cartoon version of a fat person trying to exercise.
    I hate that most of the runners I see are tight pants wearing, hot housewife mom types, who would probably never want me among their peers. They would snark about me over expensive cups of coffee, I bet.

  2. And one more thing: you’ve just made me more determined to lose this weight. xoxox

  3. God, I’m such a negative asshole, aren’t I? SORRY. I should try to run. It would make me less negative, maybe. Probably not.

    • You are not. It’s no worries. I enjoyed your comment. I was going to say something like, when I first started exercising, it hurt me lots, too. Days at a time of super sore muscles. You don’t have to run. Just do what makes you happy. <3

  4. […] thing since I got home? The thing that gives me more joy even than particularly delicious beer, running, or good […]

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