My Running Mantra

Today marks my half anniversary of deciding one day that I want to be more active, and randomly thinking right after work “hey, I’m bored. Let’s go to the employee gym and run”.  I cannot believe it has been 6 months of me going to the gym on a regular basis, because, 6 months ago, I never thought I’d run, or call myself a runner. 6 months ago, you couldn’t even convince me to do 8 minute abs*.

So, to celebrate my six months of running, I decided at that very moment, I would run an 8:34 mile. I dropped the weights, and walked over to the treadmill. I stared at it, and asked myself, “Michelle, you’ve never run anything faster than a 10-minute mile. Are you ready to run a mile in 8 minutes and 34 seconds?” I nodded to myself. Done. I’ve signed my own personal contract.

I stepped onto the treadmill, and hit “quick start” and held the ^ button until it the speed hit “7.0”. Okay. We’re running.

The first minute passed.

“Okay, first minute over,” I told myself. “Just do that 8 more times.”

The second minute passed. I realized couldn’t figure out how to breathe with the speed I was going at, because, I’ve never sustained a 7.0 mph run. Short, sharp breaths.

“It’s okay, another minute has passed. You just have to do that… 7 more times.”

The next minute passed, and I still couldn’t figure out my breathing. I was hyperventilating. It hurt my lungs a little, and I was starting to panic.

“Don’t worry. You just have to do that…. What was the math? How many minutes left?” I was absolutely miserable. The word “miserable” sounded so pretty.

I stared at the stop button. Then I thought to myself, “I’ve never found a mantra to use while running. How could you run without a mantra! God, you’re so weak! You’re so fucking weak. SO. WEAK. If I just had a mantra….You always give up. Always. You’re terrible. Useless. Everyone else can run an 8 minute mile. The world is waiting for you to catch up to them. C’mon, Michelle…everyone is waiting.”

I thought I was going to give up, when suddenly, I made up a mantra: “I’m a pussy, but I’ll do it anyway.” Weird. Yet inspiring. Yeah? Yeah!

3:58. 3:59. Yes! 4:00! Almost halfway there!

I’m a pussy, but I’ll do it anyway!!!

“Finally,” I thought. “I’m about to do something that challenges myself, and I’m about to break my low expectation of myself.”

I hit the emergency stop button at 4 minutes. Fuck that.




*Wait. You still can’t convince me to do 8 minute abs, because fuck that guy, I hate him. According to my research, his name is  Jaime Brenkus, but when I’m doing 8 minute abs, his name is “motherfucker“, “asshole” and other assorted, not-safe-for work names.  “If you do this right, it won’t hurt.” Jaime says. First of all, Jamie (“motherfucker!“), it hurts. Second of all, I never get abs, I get a fucking buff-ass neck. Your video should be renamed, “8-minute neck-straining exercises” or “8 minutes in hell” but not “8 minute abs“. And, yeah, okay, I don’t really think you’re an asshole or anything, but you sure are one when I am hurting like hell and you are asking me to “keep going!” because “we are almost done” (lie).