Monday, June 25, 2012

To Endure is The First Thing I Learned as a Child

“To endure is the first thing a child ought to learn,
and that which he will have the most need to know.”

~Jean Jacques Rousseau

            I must have learned the lesson well. It’s seems all I’m doing now-a-days is enduring. Ten miles, 1500 words, 20 pages. Preserve. Push through. Don’t quit. Never give up.

Is there ever a time you get to cry “uncle?” I don’t think so. Not when you’re truly committed to reaching your goal.

I mentioned last week in a blog post that working your way toward your goal was never pretty. This morning on my training run, I felt like a Weeble. They wobble but they don’t fall down. Picture me in my running gear walking drunk-like to the corner.

            “And, you’re going to run in that condition, Kathy?” the running buddy who resides in my head said.

            I adjusted my fuel belt, hoping that would improve my balance. “Well, yes, I think so.”

            He threw up his hands. “Okay, but don’t expect me to pick you up. My back still hurts from the long run on Saturday.”

            My chin dropped. “I thought running buddies were supposed to “be there” for you. I’m trading you in.” I lifted my chin, defiantly. “I’m a writer after all. I’ll just write me a new running buddy. And the next one will carry the water.”

            He shrugged his shoulders and jogged off, leaving me alone at the corner. “Pshaw.”

            Thankfully, my imagination picked up the slack, and I created the perfect running buddy who looked like he’d just jumped off the cover of a romance novel.

            “Here, let me carry the water,” he said.

            I unbuckled the fuel belt, which relieved me of a couple pounds of additional weight,  gave him a big smile, and turned up the music on my iPhone—Adele (don’t you love her). Then all the carbs I’d had for breakfast suddenly kicked in, and I ran down the street, wobbling a bit here and there, but the hunk running beside me gave me the confidence to wobble on.  

            We all need coping strategies to get us through those moments we have to endure. Writers may have a leg up because we can entertain ourselves for hours with the characters residing in our heads. And when they act up like my running buddy, we eliminate them, write them out of the script.

Gosh, I love being a writer! Now, if I could just find a way to write me in a fresh pair of legs, I’d have it made.

What are your coping strategies to endure deadlines and commitments and family obligations?  

Happy writing and running, Kathy

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