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Tracie Skarbo was motivated to write by her father, who was her biggest supporter. “He was always behind me, rallying me on with my writing. I would always see him with a book in hand. He gave me a great appreciation for the written word, and the power and responsibility that writers have to shape those who read their words. He also taught me to respect nature and to value the beauty within it; my reflections on my environment are just an extension of this.” Skarbo was raised on Vancouver Island and is working on her next two books.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Laced Up Confessionals Part Three

Excuses.  When it’s time to lace up I have a million of them looking up at me like eager dogs; tails wagging and tongues lolling.  Each of them competing loudly in my head telling me why I should listen to them and not that “wimpy” lone will power.
What is a runner to do?  Some runners go to sleep in their running attire and then run as soon as they wake.  Attempting to trick the dozy dogs into submission.  I am not that disciplined.  I fight back with thoughts of how good I will feel once the run is over, then there are skinny denim promises and other progressive treats when I hit my goals.  I post these on the fridge, the back of my bedroom door, the bathroom mirror and anywhere else I am likely to see them and get a positive charge from them.  Running affirmations if you will.
Is this self-brain washing?  Damn straight!  Anyone who has undertaken such a mammoth task knows that every little tidbit you can use to fight against your body and mind wrestling with you to stop this ridiculous and foolish journey knows it is worth it.  Your mind, your body will be doing everything in its power to push back.  It will try to goad you into arguments about how bad the weather is, why you should stay in the nice warm house cuddled in your housecoat.  It will inflame joints, fire up sore muscles.  If you don’t pay attention, it will face a little friction with glee and give you blistered feet for your troubles.  Anything to make you slowdown, stop, or better yet give up on it all together.  
In the beginning I know I need help.  I am a human after all and what are we humans good at?  I mean really good at?  Laziness.  I would love to listen to my mind and just curl up in front of my laptop and read my friends latest postings, rather then gear up and face the horizontal rain!  I would like to tell you that I am some stoic runner who never misses a beat when the scheduled run shows itself and I have a smile on my face while doing it.  That is just not the case.  I grunt, I growl and I talk to my demons, mostly to tell them to shut up.  Why?  Because these first few weeks are the most important; they make or break a person.
I know this; I have been through this before.  I learnt as I went along my first couple of clinics.  I know my strengths and weaknesses.  I know I have to be signed into a clinic, that if I am held accountable for something I am more likely to do it.  If I know my running partner is waiting for me and will be disappointed by my not showing I am more likely to get out there.  I am more responsible to a complete stranger then to myself.  Why?  Because I have given my word, because I have traded tender for the experience, and because I know all those other people are putting themselves in the same amount of pain that I am.  If they can do it, I can do it.  There is strength in numbers, just like there is strength in my writing about the experience.  It just re-enforces my commitment.  So thanks for reading, because your comments are just one more thing helping me lace up and get out there on the asphalt. 


  1. Love the image of you arguing with your demons. Keep at it Tracie!

  2. Though I do not run and take exercise doing other things
    Yes I know what you mean Tracie - Self motivation can be a tough one.
    Most often it is the thought of doing and how we imagine it will be - yet the doing is usually easier and often unexpected things occur whilst doing.

  3. I think: Take a vitamin pill and hit the road. And if it doesn't turn out like you hoped it would, then there is always tomorrow or the day after tomorrow to try another time. Most people-I think-wouldn't know the will struggle that runners go through almost every day; for the true runner it is a passion which can yield many things to anyone who is in for the experience. . Actually running could kill you and you go for that run over and over again, watching, listening, thinking, medidating, praying, hoping and celebrating that moment of rebirth at the end of every run.

  4. Munir and MJ, thanks so much for reading and commenting.. your words help me keep at it! :)