I love personal challenges. I’m fortunate in that when I set my mind to a task, I must complete it. If I don’t, it becomes a personal failure. I know, this is harsh. I finish every book I start to read, eventually, even if I hate it I can later talk about how terrible it is and why; I finish all the boring solo swim workouts I set out to do so I can log in my 3500yds; if I have a plan for dinner no matter how much time I’ve lost in traffic, gosh darn it I’m making those pork chops tonight. Why? Well cause the meat expires tomorrow so if I don’t make it tonight I’ll have to throw it out, and I’m not going to throw out $10 worth of pork, that’s why.
I don’t like wasting my time or my money. I often think to myself, well, I’ve started or gone this far, it would be a waste NOT to finish. This is true. I try to make the most of my time. If I don’t, I fidgit. When my husband gets home, he often spends anywhere from 20-60 minutes playing Call of Duty on the couch after he feeds the dogs and lets them out. When I get home, here is what goes through my head: 1) food, what am I making, what am I eating, 2) laundry, 3) dishes, 4) do the dogs have water? 5) what day is it, do I need to take out the trash or recycling?, 6) I need to log my workout, 7) oh right I should kiss my husband hello.
Needless to say, I have many things to keep my mind occupied, and completing a task helps me stay mentally organized. Making lists and writing things down helps me keep myself in check, keep the house clean, and work out regularly. I take responsibility and hold myself accountable for my tasks. Why feel bad for not doing something, when I could just do what I told myself I would do and feel good?
Like many other people, I do procrastinate. There is no one but myself to blame for this, but I set personal deadlines to make sure I get things done. When I complete a task, I give myself a little reward. For example, when I finish the laundry I may reward myself with a beer (I’m over 21), when I clean out my turtle’s tank I’ll sit and watch “Glee” on DVR, or when I wake up early to go run I’ll reward myself with some ice cream later in the day. Small tasks are accomplished, and I give myself small rewards.
This is also where racing the weather comes in. Its Sunday and I need to run, but its supposed to rain at 11am. Deadline: Rain. I need to run outside before it rains, and I want to run for 7 miles. The latest I can leave is 10am to ensure I don’t get drenched. Sure I can leave earlier, but I want to wait. I’m tired, procrastinating. If I wait too long it will start raining, and no one likes to run when its already raining, its OK though if you’re already out there. I’m ready now, and its 10:20. Time to run.
I can feel the rain coming. At around a half hour it begins to mist, gathering on my forearms and eyebrows. I still have 3 more miles to run, so I need to pick up my pace before the sky opens up and I get my first shower of the day. Faster and faster, the anxiety of getting rained on drives me forward at an ever-increasing pace. I check my mile time, each is faster than the last (who doesn’t love negative splits?). Finally, with less than a mile to go, the rain comes down. Now its a race. I hate trying to find newspaper to stuff in my shoes when they get soaked, I dislike the ink on my hands. This thought drives me faster. I finally see my street ahead and tear downhill to get underneath our awning. Panting, I stop my watch. I turn and address the rain. You got me rain, thanks for the push. Time for a cappuccino.