I have all sorts of arbitrary rules for myself. Examples: I can only run well in the morning. I can only have a productive day if I wake up at 4am. I can only call to cancel appointments after hours when I can reach voicemail because I’m afraid of disappointing the receptionist (what…only me?).
All this to say, if things do not happen specifically when and how I think they should happen, most likely I will not do them. It becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Wake up late? Well the day is shot (I am working on that). Morning run not done? Well, try again tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day. A new day for a perfect day.
Well, we drove to Michigan from Connecticut today. I have an endoscopy and biopsy for my stomach tomorrow and I have no idea how I’ll feel the rest of the day. This could on mean one thing: I had to run today.
And boy did I fight it. I mean this is against everything I stand for. Running? After five? Are you kidding me? So. We went and got ice cream instead. Yes. Yes. I know. I’m supposed to be avoiding those eight allergens, but I took a break (I mean…I needed a break after like three days…) in Philadelphia and I declared to Bruno, “This. This will be my last treat.” At this point I declared the run was not happening and enjoyed a decadent ice cream treat made with real milk, not from the almond or coconut variety (ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby).
And then get this. I actually went for a run afterwards. I drove to the rec center after seven. And I ran, not after five pm, but in the actual evening — when usually I’m reading on the couch and getting ready for bed. I ran five miles, not just five miles. No. No. Five really good miles where I felt great. I mean if I can have a great run with a stomach full of ice cream, who knows what else I can do?
I’m glad I did it. I ran off some nerves about tomorrow (am I going to be awake and feel this thing in my throat and stomach?). And so, now I can hydrate like a camel for the next few hours, and be satisfied that even though most of this day was sat doing nothing in a truck, I still accomplished something.
But even more important than all that, I learned something about making stupid rules for myself. They are stupid. I can run later in the day. I can run after eating ice cream (or whatever noble lie ice cream is replaced with). I can quit being precious about my time being exactly how I want it to be.
Tune in next week when I have to learn this lesson all over again!