For the past 200 days I’ve been running without exception (minimum one mile). I wrote about the run steak 100 days back (you can read it here) and it continues to humble, challenge and develop me. This short blog will detail some of the main lessons that I’ve learned from running every day since. While this is not an explicit or specific encouragement for you to start a run streak, it is me asking you to consider what small changes can add up in your own life.
Sometimes, Less Is More
I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes we need to slow down before we can speed up; sometimes we need to step back before we can move forward. When it comes to the specifics of a run streak, the goal is to create something sustainable and doing that requires managing intensities – taking the foot off of the gas from time to time in order to make sure that we can survive to stack bricks another day. Consider that you might need to do less in this moment so that you can do more for longer.
Consistent Effort Compounds
Did you know that a $4 daily cup of coffee costs over $50,000 when compounded for 20 years? Coming into this streak I understood that consistent effort compounds, however, when you measure progress on a micro scale (e.g. daily), it’s hard to see change. Like anything else, the more that we practice something, the better we get and with two hundred days of consecutive runs under my belt, I can say with confidence that I’ve become a much better runner. With just a few weeks left until the NYC Marathon, I’ve never felt faster and that’s thanks to this streak. Whatever it is that you want to get better at, go do more of it.
The Mood Will Leave You
The run streak has reinforced that commitment means doing what you said you were going to do
even especially when you don’t feel like it anymore. There have been many mornings when the shoes were the last thing I want to look at and the bed was the last thing I wanted to leave. However, every day I got up and ran because I understood that our decisions shape the person that we’re becoming and I owed my best effort to “future Joe.” In running and in life, confidence comes with congruence between words and actions. Keep your commitments and don’t let quitting become a habit.
In Time, Crazy Becomes Cool
When I started this streak, people thought I was crazy (I am). Fast forward 200 days and I’ve had countless people reach out with words of encouragement. There have even been a handful of people who are starting streaks of their own. The point here is simple – when you go off the beaten path, (some) people will think you’re crazy (and that’s ok). However, once people see the trail you’ve left behind, sentiment will change and what once seemed crazy often becomes the new cool. Trust your gut, stay the courser and do what makes you come alive (even if people call it crazy).
If It Matters, You’ll Make Time
It’s been said that where there’s a will, there’s a way and I agree. The truth is that if something matters to you, you’ll make time – when the desire is greater than the temptation, we can resist what tempts us. This run streak has been full of temptations to stop (to take the easy road). I’ve continued to do hard things because this run streak matters; it’s bigger than me. If this streak wasn’t public, I’m not sure that it would exist and that brings me to the last point. Lean on others when you’re pursuing hard things that matter.
There’s no telling how long this streak will go but for now, I’m enjoying it and there’s no end in sight. While I continue to run I hope that it inspires you to think about the small actions that can compound over time to shape you into the person that you want to be. If there’s anyway that I can be helpful in the brainstorming (or execution) process, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Thank you for reading!
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