Occasionally I’ll get compliments from friends or family about my fitness discipline. It usually is along the lines of “Yeah, I read about your running in Facebook. I could never do that. You’re out there all the time.”
This strikes me as a bit odd, as I only occasionally post Facebook status updates about my runs. If something unusual happened or I thought of something particularly noteworthy (a rarity), I’ll note it on Facebook. That happens maybe once or twice a month.
I try to accept folks compliments graciously. However, in my mind, I feel that I’m pulling the wool over their eyes. “You’re admiring me for running? Pshaw, running is a piece of cake compared to real work.”
One of the things that appeals to me about running, at least the way I run, is that it doesn’t require much thought. I don’t have to create something, seemingly ex nihilo, like one does when writing. I don’t have to face my insecurities or perceived career mistakes, as I must when applying for a job. All I have to do for running is show up. I put on my clothes, walk out the door, warm up a bit and put one foot in front of the other. It’s something I can just do. Even on my bad days, it’s the fitness equivalent of laundry. I may not feel like doing it, but it doesn’t take much mental effort or concentration. I can simple go through the motions.
Writing a blog post takes discipline. I have to resist the lure of the rest of the Internet. I have to exercise the discipline to keep on task, plus the discipline to make my writing cogent and reasonably organized. So far this post isn’t even 350 words, and I took a 10 minute useless, time wasting break scanning Facebook.
There’s a federal government job I plan to apply for. The application’s due date is July 31. Have I worked on it at all? No. I’d much rather run 10 miles in the rain than write a simple 500 word cover letter.
Thankfully, I don’t have to create my federal resume from scratch, I already have several versions created. I also have a string of cover letters written from previous federal job opportunities. So I don’t face the mountainous task of doing it all. It’s more a matter of customizing the resume. The cover letter, however, still needs to be written and written to the specifications of the job. That requires thought, concentration and overcoming my lack of comfort with self promotion.
Running though? That I can do with ease. All I have to do is show up.