I heard the heater kick on as I lay in bed this morning trying to get up the gumption to get up for a run. Checking my phone confirmed my fears: 32 degrees.
Now, for you Northern folks who endure sub-freezing HIGH temperatures during the winter, please don’t judge me. I choose to live in the South because I am a cold weather wuss. Not a fan of cold. Or snow. Or frost. Or seeing my breath while I trot through my neighborhood on a late November morning.
The past year has been one of a lot of transition. Heck, the past four years have been nothing but transition. But the past year has seen me getting my groove back professionally, getting life on track personally, and falling way behind my goals physically. Working 10-14 hours a day and raising three tweedles does not leave a lot of room for personal care or physical activity, and I’ve fallen far short of my goals. I haven’t made the time to exercise, haven’t made fitness a priority because there are so many priorities, and this one is only for me and it feels selfish to focus on etching out a little time here and there for just me.
This morning I felt like I could justify a little me time because I’m on day three of being home with the boys for the holidays and we’ve gone to the movies and had Thanksgiving dinner with grandma and grandpa and set up the tree and had Krispy Kreme donuts for no good reason and I felt like I had invested some fun time with them and now I could take out a little withdrawal of 30 minutes for myself.
Excuses are like tennis shoes– everybody has them. Mine are worn out and need to be retired. Literally and figuratively.
There’s always an excuse at the ready:
-I’m too tired.
-It’s too late.
-It’s too cold.
-The kids won’t let me.
-I don’t have the right gear.
-It’s too hot.
Huddled beneath my warm, flannel sheets, I had to make a decision. Because ultimately that’s what it is, it’s a decision. Am I going to choose to lay in bed and not work toward my personal goals, or am I going to be stronger than those measly 32 degrees, put on my cold weather gear, and go for a run? Every time I use my laundry lists of why-I-can’ts, I’m essentially saying that there are other things more important than my goals.
Too tired? Sleep is more important than my goal of becoming more fit. It’s too late? I’m not willing to work toward my goals past a certain time of day. Too cold? I’m not willing to step outside of my comfort zone to achieve my goals. The kids won’t let me? I’m choosing to use them as a scapegoat for my lack of fitness, while also teaching them that I am not a priority.
And I know that once I get running, it won’t feel that cold anyway. So I did it. I got up and tugged on my tech gear, running gloves and hat, and I did more than two miles through my neighborhood. Because I can.
Everyone has excuses. Some of them are really good excuses. Like having only one leg, or waking up to 7 inches of snow, or really really not liking the cold. They’re all great excuses, capable of justifying inaction. But that doesn’t mean you have to use them.