Mile 1221.5: This Discipline Thing


“Oh, you know, you know,
No, you don’t, you don’t.”
The Killers, “All These Things That I’ve Done”

Miles Since Last Time: 118
Total Miles: 1221.5

The biggest change I have noticed since starting the 1,500 Mile Project is not that I am twenty-four pounds less of a person or that I am a bit faster now. (In fact, I set a new record this week—4.85 miles in sixty-five minutes, wha-WHAT?!)

This photo has not been doctored. No big deal, just 4.85 miles in sixty-five minutes--and I spent the next two days feeling it.

This photo has not been doctored. No big deal, just 4.85 miles in sixty-five minutes–and I felt it for the next two days.

No, the biggest, slightly unexpected change is how much going to the gym has become part of my day. At the beginning, putting in the miles was hit or miss, and I could very easily talk myself into skipping a day. Skip days are super great.

Now, I come home from work, change clothes, and go to the gym every day that I can. I don’t think about it, I don’t try to talk myself out of it–I just go. It’s what I do, no two ways about it.

I think some people call this discipline. That’s how you spell it, right? As someone under the age of thirty, I’m only slightly familiar with this term, but I understand that it means something along the lines of “activity or experience that provides mental or physical training” or “showing a controlled form of behavior or way of thinking”–so says my dictionary app, anyway. It can also mean punishment or consequences, but that doesn’t sound enjoyable, so let’s not think about that.

Who knew that it would take four digits worth of miles for me to get some discipline? And, more importantly, how can I harvest this, this discipline thing, and apply it to the rest of my life–namely my writing–to become a more generally disciplined person?

The best side effect of discipline is a routine. Getting sucked into a routine is incredibly easy. For example, falling into exercising every day. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to fall out of a routine, like falling out of writing every day. I’ve obviously been kind of slacking on that front. I missed blogging last week and two weeks before that, and my poor novel is sitting neglected in some lonely, dusty corner of my hard drive.

How have I been able to incorporate exercise into my daily life somewhat seamlessly and not this other thing that I actually have a degree in and really enjoy quite a bit?

Perhaps it’s because I can hold myself accountable for miles through the 1,500 Mile Project, but I need an extra something to kick my writing booty. We’re going to fix that. And by we, I mean myself and my writer friends, Alexis and Cynthia (click their names to check out their blogs). Since graduating last December, the three of us have had some, er, trouble with the goals that we set for ourselves, so now we are accountability buddies. We set a goal and commit to consequences when we don’t meet it, or rewards when we do. Basically, we’re using one meaning of discipline to make us more disciplined.

Ultra mind trippy.

Discipline for all–and I mean the good kind!

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