What do writers and jocks have in common?

There is no punchline here – just some observations that I have made in my two week initiation to jogging. My sister has always been a runner, and I’ve never quite gotten it until today when I realized runners and writers are a very similar breed.

Here are some notable similarities:

We’d rather be in pajamas. My writer part needs constant coddling. She needs to be kept happy and comfortable, otherwise she is left easily to distraction. Ex., “Look at these shiny buttons!” “This tag is itchy. Itchy. It itches. Tag. Itchy.” It’s easier in pajamas. There are no surprises, temperature and comfort level are easily controlled, one area of excuse is eliminated. And slippers go well with any PJ combo – no need to find the perfect shoe.

Likewise, comfort and temperature control are clearly paramount to a successful workout, but I gotta tell ya, once you’ve put those jogging pants, fluffy socks, and comfy sneakers on, once you’ve beaten the crap out of yourself and hit the showers, tights and heels aren’t looking too appealing. Fresh, clean sweats–the closest thing you can get to pajamas and still be accepted in public – well, you’ve never appreciated them more, is what I’m saying.

We’re small-time crazy. This I realized today when, after finishing a walking interval, I had to psych myself up to start jogging again. I slapped a big ol’ grin on my face and started chanting things in my head like “This is awesome!” I love this!” “Running is great!” “I’m great!” “The world, it’s GREAT!” “I FEEL GREAT!” And I started to believe it.

My brain does something similar when faced with the blank page: “I can DO THIS!” (Soon after, I get distracted by a shiny button or an itchy tag and must go change into PJs before proceeding.)

Suffice it to say, we’re excellent liars. Check out Bob on the Biggest Loser. He’s all, “You can DO THIS!” And the contestants are all, get the F out of my way, little man! Stop being so damn happy!” But soon they catch the lying bug and become proficient liars, and a hundred pounds later, they might realize lying ain’t so bad after all.

When you hit 2000 words in a day pretending anyone gives a crap what you’re writing and that it is good and that you rock, well, six of one half dozen of the whatever.

We’re big-time crazy. That’s the only explanation. There’s gotta be some similar area illuminated in the CAT scan of someone insane enough to run a marathon and someone who endeavors to write a novel. Training is lonely, novel writing is lonely, and until you reach that end result, it’s hard to convince yourself you’re right in the head.

No one will ever understand us. The rush you get after hitting your goal, running a little longer than usual, polishing that perfect scene after weeks of trying to wrangle those characters into submission; the feeling when you hit a wall and keep pushing, you come out the other side and suddenly remember how to breathe, and everything gets easier, your sneakers float above the pavement, the words pour through your fingers as if they are electric and you are a mere conduit. You are energy personified. Everything suddenly feels right. You reach the finish ribbon, you type the words THE END. And there are no words to describe that feeling. If you haven’t experienced it, you’ll never know.

1.56 miles #8wksto5k

THE END

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3 Comments »

  1. I think anyone working to achieve a goal, whether it is writing, sport, music, etc, will have similar behaviours. Achivement comes through hard work and dedication but the goal is individual.
    Thanks for sharing this post.

  2. Mr. Smith said

    try some underarmour. it works wonders :)

    • ifyoubelievethenclap said

      I got some for Christmas!

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