Perhaps I should write more poetry. Why is that? Because my eighth most popular post of the year was a poem. Yes, a poem.
It was one I wrote shortly before my first half-marathon this past September. As I trained, I hit a wall. And by wall, I mean I got sick, went on vacation, and didn’t run for a very long time. But I was determined to run that race and did, albeit slowly and painfully.
But it would have been impossible, I believe, if not for that one day. The day I chose to say no to my voices.
If I Did Not Run Today
I ran today, but what if I didn’t?
I barely made it three miles and it was far from a sprint.
I rolled out of bed with all kinds of excuses.
A sore foot, aching back, and a leg full of bruises.
So rather than run and suffer the pain,
I settled on the couch for something much more mundane.
Five minutes later, my conscience kicked in.
I soon found myself, much to my chagrin
Lacing up my shoes and applying Ben-Gay
And racing out the door without further delay.
My voices, they said “what is the point?
You know you’ll probably throw out your hip joint.
You’re too old or too young, too slow and too fat,
You just got passed by a handicapped cat.
Why do you go on like this even matters?
Can you not hear the sound of your ankle bones shatter?”
Well you made it all the way through one mile.
I guess it’s OK if you break out a smile.
But don’t you think this changes who you truly are,
Just because you finally made it past that parked car.
You’re still old, fat, slow, and just lazy.
This whole idea of running is pretty much crazy.
You know that you never finish what you start.
You know that deep down in your heart.
So, come on, there’s still time to quit.
Go home, you want to, just admit it.
You know that you can’t make it much farther.
Give up when it hurts and be just like your father.
“NO!” I screamed in response to my voice.
I decided that I could make my own choice.
And break the cycle that my dad started.
I would go on. I would not be fainthearted.
It’s funny how one act can make your inner voice change.
It sounds so familiar and yet it sounds so strange.
Just moments before it said I’d drop dead.
As I turned to walk home, here’s what it said:
“You did it. You made it. If only three miles.
Now that you’ve finished, add this to the file
Of all the times you told yourself that you can’t but you did.
The list that started when you were a kid.
And chose to study longer so you’d make an “A.”
Rather than go out with your friends to play.
You continued a pattern that makes you a champ.
And eases the pain of that left leg cramp.
You did what was right and chose to obey.
You’ll never know the pain of ‘if I did not run today.'”
Question: How can you apply this to your life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.