Remember when I thought that running 3 miles and then finishing them off by running an 8 minute mile was cool?
On Saturday I went to the gym with a plan: run 6 miles at a steady pace over mild hills (so that I'm not quite as shocked when I transition to outdoor running and the ground is not perpetually flat and electronically powered beneath me).
(That joke is always on me.)
Anyway...I started running.
It did not feel good.
It felt like the opposite of good.
Problem: I should have waited longer in between breakfast and running. I'm not one of those people who eats to fuel workouts...I actually have much better results on an empty stomach.
I toughed it out until mile 2.5, when I decided to pause the treadmill and head to the bathroom since I wasn't sure whether I had to pee or throw up. Turns out it was the former (lucky for one and all). (And apparently the theme of today is Unwanted Personal Information Day. Apologies, Internet.)
I got back on the treadmill determined to at least finish the 6 miles I originally set out to run. It kept getting easier and easier as the miles passed and I kept feeling less and less like I was going to keel over in the middle of Planet Fitness.
The six mile mark came and went. I started walking to cool down. But then I thought a dangerous thought.
"I could probably keep going."
And then I had to keep going. Because I'm crazy.
So I decided to bump the speed up to 8.0 and see what happened.
No worries, PF patrons beside me, it's totally ok that I'm glaring angrily at the PAC 12 gymnastics championships for no apparent reason other than athletic motivation while Jay Z shouts into my eardrums and yours via my amped-up inspiration playlist and I'm sweating/panting uncontrollably. Nothing to see here.
Except for my new mile time: 7:30.
Stranger things have not happened.
I am really starting to be convinced that hard work for your body is better for your soul. Because - at the risk of sounding like something that has the potential to start trending on Pinterest - doing something that challenges you changes you.
Over the past few months I've felt a passion not just for committing, but for committing to being the absolute best version of me that I can be. Giving 100% all the time, no matter the circumstances. Being that person means I can't cater to excuses or explanations, won't be derailed by disappointments or discouragement, don't leave well enough alone.
On Saturday, that meant not calling it a day at the gym when I knew I still had more left to give, even though I had "other things to do" and "wasn't feeling my best" and "had a great workout already."
Nope, nope, and nope. All of those factors are well and good. But only if you want to meet the minimum requirements.
And I don't! I want to far exceed them!
Every time I make the decision to take the harder road, the one that asks the most of me, I change a little. I learn that good enough is never really good enough. I become someone who is confident in the knowledge that I can always give 100%, and that giving 100% is always better in the end.
I also become someone who laughs out loud and jumps up and down with arms raised in triumphant victory while stepping off the treadmill.
Which is what everyone else does, right?