This past week, I ran. I ran one mile, every day, for seven days in a row.
I know what you’re thinking: that’s nothing.
A lot of people run seven miles every day. I’m not one of them. For me, running is no fun. It’s boring, it’s uncomfortable, it’s tiring – so I had to start small. One mile was the perfect distance to keep me coming back, and it often turned into more than one mile.
Some days, I’d run 3 miles. Some days, I’d run 2 miles. But always more than one.
What was really great was where this challenge took me, literally.
I’m currently in Vancouver, BC, and it’s too cold to run outside for me (I did one of the seven days outside and my throat nearly froze). This meant that all of my running had to be done on the treadmill at the gym, and the act of getting there was seriously good for me. On all but one of the days at the gym, I did a workout after my run. In this way, the one-mile run really just became a warm up for my real workout. I didn’t pressure myself to lift weights, it just kind of felt like the right thing to do. Going to the gym for 12 minutes, while good for me and ultimately my goal for this weekly challenge, never felt right. It felt like not enough.
I think this is an interesting lesson. If we can convince ourselves to do small, easy things that put us in the right situations, good things happen (probably why I enjoy doing weekly challenges so much). It was easy to run one mile every day – it would not have felt easy if I had set a goal of going to the gym seven days in a row. Sometimes how you frame things affects how you act.
I’m going to continue this practice. I set it as a goal for myself this year to run one mile every day, and I’ve thought about changing it to running 365 miles. I’m not going to. I think that the act of going to the gym every day is more important than the actual distance ran, even if it’s only for 12 minutes. The act of going reminds me that the gym is a part of my life and I should feel guilty about missing a day. After all, if I can’t devote 12 minutes to my health a day, what type of health results can I really expect to see this year.