Promises to keep

Maybe I mentioned the “Buckelew Farms Pumpkin Race” to you all before.   It’s important to me because it’s the first race I ever entered.. ever.   This October I’m running it again for my one-year running/racing anniversary and I invited a lot of people.    For months now I’ve been asking, “Want to run the Pumpkin 5k with me?” to just about everyone in earshot.   I had a list of 20+ names that I contacted vie email or Facebook to follow up with. Almost to the point of being obnoxious, but aware of this pitfall, I made sure everyone knew about it and knew that it was coming up, shut up about it until about two weeks out, and now, one week.

I’M TOO OLD.. so I can’t run as fast as you

So many of you seemed excited to do this.   It’s only $15; a paltry sum for races, it’s only a 5k; short and easy enough (with at least 3 months of training, anyway) and the money goes to a good cause; hell!  It’s a good cause individually – it’s your health, after all.   You don’t even have to run it.. you can walk it if running isn’t your cup of tea.

MY LEFT KNEE HAS A PERMANENT CONDITION: OSGOOD-SCHLATTERS DISEASE.. so I can’t run as hard or as far.. I can’t run as long as you.

But, unfortunately, with only one week away the excuses are replacing the excited nods and affirmations.   Purposeful words are replaced with a nattering of whatever convenient reasons are laying about; near at hand.   They are all good, solid excuses though, aren’t they?   Plantar Fasciitis… low on money at the moment… out of shape… oh sorry – I’m working that day.. on and on.   Mind you, not everyone is making excuses, but I honestly didn’t expect excuses to be coming from some of those who are now making them… and to continue being perfectly honest; it bothers me quite a bit.   I was counting on these people. Their willingness to say “Yes!” inspired and motivated me.   What is the opposite of ‘motivation’ and ‘inspiration’?  That’s what they did to me.. thanks?

BOTH OF MY SHOULDERS HAVE BEEN DISLOCATED.. so I can’t do pull-ups and that means I can’t do Spartan Races.. sorry.

Still.   We are all human.   I’ve broken my word plenty of times.   More times than I care to count or mull over, sure.   Just like everyone else, I want my word to be my word.   I want it to count and to be counted on.   That still doesn’t change the fact that I’ve broken my word more times than I care to admit.   As a matter of fact, I was thinking about breaking my word tonight.   Tonight is our Monday meeting for the Marathon training group with which I’m involved and I don’t really feel up to it.   Tired, I haven’t had a rest-day this week, my stomach is bothering me.. See how easy that is?   The excuses just roll off the tongue, easy as pie.   Now don’t get too comfortable, because I actually AM going to the meeting tonight and I WILL run, but I get it.   I understand that there really are times where it just isn’t feasible or possible to keep our word, but I don’t want to be the guy that breaks his word when I still have a choice in the matter here.   Not when I can see my own personal excuses for what they are; excuses.   I can still keep my word and guess what? My excuses can be overcome.. there’s still time!

I HAVE AN INGUINAL HERNIA.. so I can’t work my core right now

Maybe if we think of ‘excuses’ as ‘bonus challenges’, we would be better off.   Think about it.  Instead of thinking, ‘I can’t run a Marathon because I’m overweight’ and just lodging that excuse and leaving it at that, think instead, ‘I can’t run a Marathon because I’m overweight.. but.. I could do a couch to 5k program or stop drinking sugary drinks or even both!’.

It’s all about the underlying attitude.   Are you going to achieve your goals or aren’t you?   Do you have specific plans to deal with specific challenges as they inevitably come up?

No excuses.

If you can’t run yet, can you walk?  Can you crawl?   When an obstacle presents itself, will you pack up and go home or make the defeat of that obstacle one of the mini-goals in the process of achieving your overall goal?

No excuses.

If you aren’t allowing yourself sugar or grains then each time you have a choice of eating something or drinking something sugary, you have the unique opportunity of choosing between your goals and your immediate satisfaction.

No excuses.

You can either have goals, or have excuses.   These two actually are mutually exclusive.   Lots of things happen to us that get in the way of our goals, including our own poor habits and failure to plan properly.   Doesn’t matter – I’ll see you at the race.


“The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.” ~ R. Frost


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