After a lot of months of knowing I “should” be sprinting, courtesy of marksdailyapple.com, I finally started. A few Saturdays ago, me and Phoebe leapt out of bed and headed to my old junior high. By the last sprint, I was outpacing the pooch and the endorphin rush was incredible!
The next day, my whole body hurt. That Monday, during my second set of smith squats, my right inner thigh started to hurt. BADLY. I conferred with a friend who is an exercise physiologist; I’d pulled a groin. This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about my groin but I have a point…
“The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.”
My friend explained to me that you’re supposed to warm up beforehand. Embarrassing as it was, I was genuinely shocked. It’s SPRINTING. Isn’t the whole point that you just go?
Apparently not. For the next week, I could not run or squat or lunge or play tennis or even really walk without wincing. There I laid, in pain. Every time I moved, there was the reminder that I had not prepared properly, that I had bolted without thinking and was now suffering the consequences. The irony? I’ve spent the last year building discipline like a muscle and coaching others along the same lines.
I’ve always been goal-oriented. I can narrow my focus and push for days, even at the risk of my health and sanity, to reach some end purpose. Most of my wincing turned into laughter. Never in my life have I pushed myself to the point of injury. And after all these months spent learning how to slow down and be conscious? Ugh.
What are you built for?
There is a portion of Four Hour Work Week where Tim Ferriss discusses how he tried to be a long-distance runner. He tried and tried and ultimately he failed because he is just not built for it. He thinks people should work with their strengths. This aligns with the philosophies behind marksdailyapple.com, and Strengths Finder, too. If you’re a a distance runner? Strap on the shoes and we will see you in a few hours. If you’re a climber? Hit the rock gym! If you’re good at lifting heavy things? Please come help me move!
Me? I’m a sprinter. I love pursuits that take short bursts of enormous energy. Like running cross court for the perfect volley. Or planning events. Or cramming for a presentation. Or working an entire room, making a ton of new acquaintances, and then spending an entire weekend alone to process and recuperate.
Work with what you’ve got
Suddenly, what I thought was a shortcoming started to resemble a strength: Two to four weeks of extremely focused energy is all it takes to undo bad habits and build new ones, and that has been the secret to my success. Of course, I am capable of long-term effort where it counts. I’m a loyal friend and pet owner and I never forget other people’s dreams, even when I get distracted from my own.
Something about this realization made life, and the pulled groin, easier to bear. That was when I started sprinting toward self-acceptance and I haven’t looked back…
Interested in sprinting? Check out some easy ways to get started here. But please, for the love of chocolate, warm up first!