Peer Pressure

Yup, I’m writing again. What can I say. I’m a sucker for peer pressure.

Which is why I’m writing again. The friend who encouraged me to start writing again in the first place IMed me today. She encouraged me to keep a log of my running experience–to help her stay motivated with her. Why are we running? Peer pressure.

For me, it started last year. About this time. I knew I was not as active as I used to be. I decided I would become a runner. But I’ve never been a runner.

So I started a couch-to-5-K program for inexperienced runners. And I made it to week 5. But then law school kicked into high gear. The day after pulling an almost-all-nighter was also a running day. I came home after class, a hot, hot Virginia autumn day and contemplated: nap or run? I took a nap. And then went to eat Mexican food with friends. And didn’t run or hit the gym for the next three months.

In January, I came back to my senses, and although not ready to commit to running, I did start going to the gym several times a week. And I stuck with it–for about three months. That’s long enough to form a habit, right? Apparently not. Because when finals rolled around, I stopped going all together, again.

Then I found myself in Michigan. With people who were sounding crazy about their new commitment to health and exercise. But inwardly, I was getting excited just listening to them. I wanted to be a part of it too. I didn’t want to be left out.

One Sunday, in the middle of the summer, a group of us went for a run. Another guy and I didn’t make it for more than a few minutes before we reverted to speed walking. But it was still good just to do something active after sitting in a desk chair for 8+ hours a day at work every day, five days a week. My interest intensified. Ah, peer pressure.

The end of my summer was busy, and I knew that I shouldn’t set myself up for failure. But last week, I had no excuses. I would be around on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I purchased a couch-to-5K app for my iPhone and added music to the playlist. And I started again. Monday, not great. Wednesday, okay. But Friday. Friday, I actually had fun. Week one of nine down.

And then I went to visit my friends (same friends mentioned in the previous post) last weekend. A teacher, who lives in Virginia, not far from me, and a pastor and his wife, who live in Michigan and were visiting. The pastor would not stop talking about running and triathlons. He recently became more active. And listening to the way that he described his experience (he used to hate running), and articles and books he read, it rubbed off on his wife, the teacher, and me.

Now, the three of us, have committed. We’re going to get active again. The teacher and the wife already blogged about their running experiences this week. I just went for my runs. Monday was great. Wednesday was even better–I didn’t even feel that tired. But today, I was a little sluggish. I didn’t eat a good dinner last night, I blame it on that. But pushing forward. Two weeks down. Seven to go.

I told my friend the teacher that today’s run was not as good. And she said I should write. Yes, we’re back at our point of origin. I intentionally was not going to write about my experience. This was just going to be between me, and, well whoever I actually got around to sharing it with.  I guess there are some areas in which I don’t like accountability. Don’t want people to know if I give up on this…again…you know what I mean?

But accountability, in addition to peer pressure, is probably what I need if I’m going to stick with this. Don’t anticipate a daily account. But at the end of each week, I’ll share a little reflection. I’m also getting my dad in on this. He’s starting to run again too (he’s been an avid speed walker for years already, and was a runner in high school and college). We’re going to run in the Niles Thanksgiving Day 5K in November. Nothing impressive, but it is something.

So you now know my plan. You know my goal. You also see the pattern of my past struggles. Check in every once in a while, see if I’m still sticking with it. Exert some peer pressure. In this context at least, peer pressure doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.

One Comment

  1. <3 it! keep on running!!!

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