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day 3 runner cover.jpg

My Life As A Runner, Day 3: Wisdom Is A Journey And Rhythm Is A Dancer

By Joe Starr | Think Pieces | April 1, 2016 |

By Joe Starr | Think Pieces | April 1, 2016 |

Two weeks ago I showed Pajibans and the larger Internet the same path to repairing themselves physically and spiritually that I had found after running for two consecutive days. That combined hour of running had an almost as profound impact on my life as I know reading about the experience had for the world at large.

But everything has changed. I feel like a child stepping out of Plato’s cave seeing the sky for the first time. I could choose to remain in the light, but I know that without me returning to share the good news that there is more to life than the walls of the cave, you’ll be lost forever. Because caves are very dark and hard to navigate. However, you have nothing to fear — because I will be your torch in the darkness. Because two weeks after my second day of running, I have successfully completed my third day.

I have learned so much.

Keep your shoes in their box between runs

Yes, you only spent a maximum of $60 on these shoes, but they are still yours. Take pride in them. The condition of your possessions is a reflection of your self worth, and the foresight to keep your shoes stored in a safe clean place in the 14 days between needing them says a lot about you. Also, if you leave them out one of the cats is totally going to sleep on them, because you never make the bed even though you know they love sleeping on a made bed. No one wants to run in cat shoes.

Your wife isn’t better than you. Just different in a better way.

Your wife’s relationship with the velocity gods has evolved and grown a lot: She has added strength training regiments to her routine so that she can run even more. She even has that roller thing that you roll on your muscles. She’s happy, focused, and confident. But she’s not better — she’s just different in a better way. She can knock out 200 squats like it’s nothing, but you have … different goals? Right? You don’t need a leg roller thing to be a great runner. I mean, physically you totally do at some point, but I’m talking about the metaphorical leg runner thing. The one in your heart.

Remember to always frame your fitness journey in metaphors and not in goals. Goals are physical and absolute. Metaphors are fluid and adjustable and isn’t that what life’s about?

Your Spotify playlist is a living thing

You were a mere child of fitness in your first two days of running. Your playlist was frontloaded with sweat breaking Rocky training songs and more tracks from the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation soundtrack than you’d like to admit. But in the 14 days you’ve spent reflecting on that first flurry of exercise, you’ve grown a lot. Walk of Life by Dire Straits and Carley Rae Jepson’s I Really Like You are not only perfectly acceptable pop hits, but they make fantastic musical anchors for a veteran third day runner.

Massive gaps aren’t failures

A lot of runners might tell you that three days of running should probably be done consecutively, or at least in the same week. But a lot of runners aren’t you. Did it take you 14 days to get to day 3? Yeah, it did. But you fucking got to day 3, my friends. If we could make it to day 3 with more things we want to accomplish in life, we’d be giving our cats a lot fewer chances to sleep on those things.

We might even make the bed. Here’s to Day Four.

Joe Starr is a writer and comedian with an album called Heroic Effort on Bandcamp and a funny book about pro wrestling called Leg Drop at Devastator. Follow him on Twitter.

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