Why Wednesdays? – Why I Run, Reason #6: Instant Gratification and Immediate Success

A Note About This Feature:  Why Wednesdays is a Move Eat Create weekly feature determined to turn the mid-week doldrums upside down and celebrate things I love to do and blog about.  Currently, the focus is on running.

I want a lot of things that I can’t have.  I’ll be honest about that.  I want a house and dog.  I want vacations to new and exciting places.  I want pricey street shoes and running shoes.  I want a Garmin.  I want a job that brings me joy EVERY day.  I want a secure, full retirement account.  You get the idea.

Sometimes I think I’m greedy, but the reality is that many of us have lists like this.  We have dreams and goals that may cost more than we can afford right now – and I don’t just mean that solely in the financial sense of the word.  There are other costs that are just as significant.  They include time, relationships, effort, sleep, patience, stress, et cetera.

I don’t expect to get everything on my list of dreams, certainly not quickly.  But I spend a lot of time thinking about them.  I’ve always been focused on the future and have a hard time living in the moment, so to speak.  I’m a planner, a forward thinker, sometimes to my detriment.  This way of being can lead to missing out on much of what is happening right now, what is right here to do, to have, and to enjoy.

Working so hard on dreams that will (hopefully) be realized years down the road, can make it difficult to relish immediate successes, accomplishments, and gratifying moments.  It can be as seemingly inconsequential as being distracted from the pleasure of a delicious home baked cookie because I’m already thinking about what I should do next time to make it better, or as crucial as ignoring the success of the hours I have spent planning and tracking a budget in order to bank $100 for the month because I’m too busy thinking about how much more needs to be saved over the months and years to come.

Plus, I’m impatient.  Like, REALLY impatient.  I curse at stop lights.  I fidget in line at the grocery store.  I just can’t help it.  When you combine my impatience with my constant focus on things far down the road, you can end up with a pretty unhappy Me, if you’re not careful.  So, you can see why sometimes I just really need some instant gratification.  Some sort of success RIGHT NOW.  Running provides that.

So many days I come home from work exhausted and wanting to do nothing more then eat and lounge, but I always still manage to grab my Mizunos and go.  And, I have yet to regret that.  Going for those runs always provides me with such a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and that instant gratification.  It still amazes me that even as tired as I felt, I was able to run miles with relative ease.  Nearly immediately I feel more fulfilled and like I have gained something valuable.

I also get this from my long runs.  I’m less tired for those.  My early morning, weekend runs also bring me instant gratification, if in a different way.  After these, in the relatively short span of around 2 hours, I have something show for it.  I have many miles to jot down in my training log, a feeling of peace, an extra partial mile to add to my distance PR, or so on.  It all happens so quickly, when you think about it.  I get up. I set a goal for the morning.  I go out to do it, and I have been successful.  It doesn’t get better then that, really.  There are so few other places in my life that provide me the ability to say that, to accomplish something valuable, so quickly.

So, when I’m feeling impatient and I have little tangible to show for my efforts day in and day out, it’s amazingly comforting to know that all I need to do to feel a bit of instant gratification is to head out onto the pavement and go.


Previous Entries in This Series:

Why I Run, Reason #5:  Breaking Out of Boxes and Shutting Down “You Can’t . . .”

Why I Run, Reason #4:  My Health, Silly!

Why I Run, Reason #3:  Because I’m Able To

Why I Run, Reason #2:  Birds and Tortillas

Why I Run, Reason #1:  Stress Relief

14 comments on “Why Wednesdays? – Why I Run, Reason #6: Instant Gratification and Immediate Success

  1. Lisa Fine says:

    Great weekly post idea! I love people’s thoughts and accounts on running. And I completely agree about the long runs – they’re really satisfying. I tend to love them so much more than my 30 minute runs.

  2. Joanne says:

    Running is definitely super gratifying in that way. I always feel like I’ve accomplished something when I come home from a run, no matter how long (or short) it was!

  3. Love this post! I too am super impatient and running really helps me with that!


  4. lee says:

    I love this series! It makes me ponder my own whys.

  5. Good post and perspective! Amen for instant gratification.

  6. Jessi says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and good luck to you in the Portland Half Marathon this weekend!! I’m looking forward to seeing your recap post! 🙂

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