running = making an argument for INconvenience.

Our modern world is all about convenience. Remote controls. Delivery food. An Internet where you can do anything, any time. Maybe part of what I like about running is there’s nothing convenient about it. It’s inconvenient and challenging … and makes us really have to work, both physically and mentally.

There’s nothing convenient about forcing yourself to get up an hour early to do a workout. To greeting cold weather by spending extra time dressing in layers. To dealing with all the soreness that comes later.

Dressing up in leggings, holiday socks and a Santa Claus cap on a freezing Saturday morning to go run with a few hundred other crazy people is much less convenient than sleeping in, watching TV or surfing the Web. Maybe that’s part of the reason I enjoy doing things like the weekend’s Reindeer Run 5K. There’s nothing easy about it.

Because while convenience is a good business practice, I could use another word for it: laziness. It’s too convenient to take the easy way out too often. To sit on the sidelines. To do the bare minimum. To life a safe, conservative life. There’s nothing convenient, after all, about trying new things.

But if you’ve ever had to summon the energy to make it to the finish line — especially when your lungs are burning, your muscles are screaming and it’s you vs. the urge to throw in the towel — you know the feeling of achievement from overcoming the all-too-convenient inertia of modern living. Pushing ourselves to meet challenging goals expands our existence. Doing something inconvenient once in a while can be a wonderful thing.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “running = making an argument for INconvenience.

  1. That last mile of any race is the most exhilarating feeling I know. It can make you do crazy things (like running in frigid temps … and wearing Christmas socks : )

  2. Laura

    Nice iphone interface btw

  3. You’re right there is nothing convenient about running. But there is something about knowing you accomplished something.

    When it gets to those hard parts of a race or a long run, I think about one of my kids I used to coach, Aiden, who has a disorder that without a lot of work and effort to overcome won’t run a half marathon, my friend Jacob who is confined to a wheel-chair , and my Prof. who was diagnosed with MS. All of their lives made less convenient by a simple disorder. I think of them and push through the run because they don’t have the chance to.

    Life is the same as running. As inconvenient as things seem, they make life more interesting.

    Keep on running!

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