I’ve never participated in a marathon before, but I run for leisure, and this year I challenged myself and ran a 10km race.
I didn’t die.
I actually finished with a pretty good time considering the unseasonably cold weather and considering I didn’t follow any rigorous training regimen.
Since then I’ve noticed some parallels between my running and my writing. In both cases there are days were I simply don’t want to. It’s so hard just to start.
Some days the resistance wins. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I’m able to take the first steps. But even when I do take the first steps it’s so difficult to keep going.
But then there are some days where I can’t wait to get started. I fly right out of the gate! I am so grateful for those days. What prompts them? I’m still trying to figure that out.
Once I’ve been writing/running for a while, things feel good. I’m doing this! Look at me go! But then fatigue eventually sets in and the I-can’ts start sniping. I can’t do this. I can’t finish. I want to stop. I want to give up.
I’m really starting to understand the concept of the sagging middle in creative writing. A lot of effort is expended in starting the thing but then you start losing steam. It feels so uphill. There’s definitely a sagging middle in running, too.
But also like running, there is a finish line. There is an endpoint. Sometimes it’s very hard to see it and you start doubting it even exists. I don’t see the endpoints yet with my two works in progress, but I know they’re there. What they will look like and when I will get there remains to be seen. It’s intimidating and a bit scary.
But if I can finish a 10k…