I Said No to my Voices

Perhaps I should write more poetry. Why is that? Because my eighth most popular post of the year was a poem. Yes, a poem.

Run Today

When you choose to say “no” to your negative voices, anything is possible. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

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.

Mile One

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?”

Mile Two

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.

Mile Three

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.

The End

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.

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  • Kirbie Earley

    This was one of my favorites too! I can’t run (knee replacement) so I admire those who push through and do it.

    • Just means your “something” is different. Could be to swim so far or to bike so far or to _______. For me it’s running because I enjoy running enough but it’s still hard. And I especially love the rewards from it.

  • Mine was walking – trained for and completed a 21 mile power walk. It took a tremendous amount of time to get in the miles, especially in the last 2 months before the event.

    Currently it is completing 264 drawings for a book – only 15 left to do! It is like quintathalon (just made that up), because after the drawing comes the writing, the design, the printing and the selling.

    It is a habit now – something I work on without making the decision “shall I?” or “shall I not”.

    • That is awesome Jana!

      It does take a lot of time to train, even when running. I’ll spend a minimum of 5 hours per week in 2014 running or otherwise training for my next one.

  • I’ve 3 full marathons and several half marathons. Running is a place to get fit physically and mentally. I look forward to running 5-6 days per week.

  • Matt, the point for me is that 3 miles is a whole lot better than no miles.