Here for the long game

Here I am. Sweaty face. Hair in last night’s braids. Headband with paint from who-knows-what project. Fresh off my morning run.

I want to share with you my current mantra, because it is slowly but surely changing how I am growing.

“I am in this for the long game.”

Let that sit for a second.

This is the only body I’ll be given. I have some improvements and some health changes I’d like to get on track. Rather than find the next ##-day or #-week magic hottest newest program that promises me results, I am choosing continuous refining of my daily habits for long-term health. I’ve been at this since June. I just now have weirdly random physical parts of my body that I can point to and say, “Hey! Look! Better!”

Do I desire faster changes? Sure. Do I wish they were to the degree that you’d walk up to me on the street and say, “Damn, girl!” Maybe. But do I know that a slow, steady journey is building lasting changes? You bet. I’m in this for the long game.

I signed up for a half marathon. There is no one on this earth, myself included, that would classify me as a fast, natural runner. Running is work. Work. But I’m working at it. My race is nine months away, and in sharing with a coworker the fact that I’m training NOW, his response was, “Why? You’ve got tons of time.” Maybe. But this is a hilly course, and I’m out of practice. Also, I want to run that race well, and I’m not nearly there.

So I run ugly, slow, 13.5 minute miles coming off a stomach bug. I practice the weird pacing exercises and calf-strengthening duck walks. I will run in the morning dark, and Lord help me, I’ll figure out wet winter running.

But you know what, all those things will add up, because I’m in it for the long game.

Whatever you want lies on the other side of work. Slow, consistent work. Be in it for the long game.


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