It is the summer. A hot one. It reminds me of childhood summers in Chicago with blazing sun everyday, grass that was green-now brown, and long, long days. As an academic my job follows termly ebbs and flows of students, teaching timetables, and exams. This is the first year I have not been writing or editing a book, an article or, looking back several years, my PhD over the summer and I thought – I really do need to recharge.
The changing patterns of existence between the all go of students everywhere and the silence of empty corridors is difficult to navigate for me. I need to be careful with the transition or, frankly, I will get depressed with the sudden vacuum left when the students go. Changing gears, changing patterns of life all need structure, implied or imposed, and genuine motivation to get stuff done, BUT there has to be self-care too. Maybe it’s an academic thing or maybe it’s just a weakness of mine, but I am not always good at taking care of myself. You know, push a bit and do that extra thing and fit in that as well and grab lunch on the go and and and…
One morning I spotted a post by someone I follow (who I’ve never met in real life) saying he had started working out and it was rewarding. Well, hey… sometimes all I need is the slightest suggestion to tip that motivation over the edge and that was it. I got up and ran. -not far. -not fast. but I did it. 2 miles.
and the next.
and nearly every day since. (I missed three days because we were away and I was ill)
My cello teacher used to advocate committing to bursts of activity. He would say if you just did one minute every day, think of what you would accomplish after a month or a year.
I started this daily running on the 3rd of May – and that means I’ve hit 150 miles so far this summer (and counting 🙂 ). Wake up, brush teeth, do some chores (make a lunch or two), and run. I do a mile out following the road by the sea, stop and look at my favourite tree and the doves in the dove-house, walk for about 30 seconds, and run home. When the wind is in the tree, it sounds like it is whispering encouragement to me.
Rest, renew, revive, run
As I weave other projects into my days, between the work and family and life, I am slightly more conscious how my commitment does matter. It all adds up, whether it is physical activity, conservation, activism, study, or laughter.
All images were taken by me. Feel free to remix or reuse CC-BY