Running, swimming and other forms of training have taught me a lot about the peculiar, individual machine that is my body. Perhaps no lesson has been as fascinating as the knowledge that my body adapts to training the way Hemingway says a man goes broke: Gradually, and then all of a sudden.
That means that when I’m building up mileage or yardage, or when I’m first getting back into training for a particular activity, I can count on a series of workouts that feel terrible until, seemingly suddenly, one feels fantastic. I passed that blessed milestone with running last weekend, when I had two lovely runs on one of my normal, hilly routes (as opposed to my truncated, wimpy, “until I get back into shape” routes). I was annoyed that earthquakes and hurricanes and other natural disasters had kept me out of the pool, and I headed out for a quick run with no expectations besides squeezing in a quick workout.
My feet felt light. My legs felt strong. My spots that hurt (knee, hip, etc.) felt fine. My breath and heartbeat felt steady. When I got back to my apartment building, I felt a pang of sadness that the run was already done.
The next day, I couldn’t wait to run again. That’s all it took to motivate me to go farther, to go faster, to simply go—one good run.
What’s motivating you this week?