There were reasons to skip my run this morning.
My flight from Newark to Vancouver was delayed four hours yesterday, after we boarded the plane. Nothing like flying 5.5 hours after sitting in the same seat for 4 hours without moving. What would have been a decent flight (6 p.m. landing a bit before 9 p.m. Pacific) turned into an inadvertent red-eye. A bumpy red-eye. We took off 10:20 p.m. and landed at 12:30 a.m. Pacific, or 3:30 eastern time. After clearing customs I didn’t arrive at my hotel until what felt like 4:30 a.m. my time. This made it hard to sleep, as my body was about ready to pop awake.
So I took my melatonin. Eventually I drifted off. When I opened my eyes at 6 a.m. Pacific time I was still pretty groggy. I somewhat wanted to go back to sleep, and if I wasn’t going back to sleep, I had a lot of work to do. Plus I had to be dressed and ready at 8 a.m. to speak to 1500 people.
There were reasons not to run. But in late 2016, I made a choice. I went for a run on December 24, and then the next day. After a week (hey, it was vacation) I realized I had run every day. So why not keep going daily into the new year? I would commit to running at least a mile a day.
A mile isn’t much. It was hard to argue that I couldn’t find space in my life for a 10-minute jog.
But I knew that this commitment would change the conversation I had with myself. Now the question would not be if I would run. The question would be when I would run. It is a very different discussion, one focused on logistics, not willpower.
Today, I knew that after my talk I’d be going back to the airport to fly to Calgary (for another talk). With travel uncertainties, it would be better to get the run in first.
Plus, I opened my window and saw…Vancouver. It is truly a gorgeous city. I recalled that one of the conference organizers said it was a great town to run in. I looked at Google maps and it looked like there was a trail by the water.
So I put on my running clothes and took off to explore.
It was the most perfect run. Sixty degrees and breezy. The brilliant morning sun reflected off the water The clouds rolled back and forth over the mountains. The waking city glistened against the sky and all the evergreens. I could not stop smiling as I ran miles along the trail, past the boats, into the park.
I wound up running for an hour, taking my chances with showering quickly and eating an energy bar for breakfast. I felt awake, alive.
Without my running streak, I don’t know that I would have hauled myself out of bed. But I’m glad I did, with this jewel of a morning as my reward. So that is why I run every day.
In other news: As a side note, I have also brushed my teeth every day since December 24, 2016, but no one thinks that streak is strange or evidence of compulsive behavior