Friday, May 28, 2010

Too Stupid to Quit

Two posts?  Must be Friday.  No really.  I was having some thoughts and I thought they'd be fun to share.

So back near the end of March, I realized I was WAY heavy for me.  I mean, when I was 25, I weighed about 150 lbs.  But there I was staring down the barrel of 32 at 220lbs. Whoa!  So I thought I'd take up running.  I'd run when I was training for the Fire Academy, and managed an average of 5-7 miles per day.  I was also in the best shape of my life when I started, but that's a different story.

Regardless, I began running.  I had my little GPS watch, good shoes, and an iPod loaded with motivational music.  My first distance was 3.5 miles.  I walked most of it and could barely walk the next day.  Over the next month, I managed to begin doing at least as much jogging as walking.  And by the end of the month I had managed to jog the entire thing.

Frequently, I suffered from shin splints and sore knees and lots of muscle stiffness.  But I kept telling myself that one day, I'd run a marathon.  I could barely go 3.5 miles without having to stop, but I was determined to run 26 miles.  It seemed like this completely unattainable goal.  But I kept going because I'm frequently too damn stupid to quit.

I am a rule breaker.  I probably don't stretch properly, I probably don't train properly.  I'm probably skipping about a dozen steps.  But rules only ever tell us what we can't do, never what we're actually capable of.  And here I am about two months later easily jogging six miles without stops or rests or anything.  My shin splints are mostly gone and the only major problem I have is a blister that has more layers than an onion.  I wasn't able to do it because I'm a great athlete or read a lot of blogs or books about how to run.  I got here, and I'll get into marathon shape, because I'm too dumb to know I can't.

And that's my approach to writing too.  There's a lot of information out there telling writers what they can't do, what they shouldn't do, what will ensure their book never sees the light of day.  You know what I say?  Turn up the music on your iPod, crank up the speed on, ignore the pain, and keep pushing forward.  Maybe you'll fall--no one's journey is the same.  Maybe you won't be ready in the time frame that you want to be.  But eventually you'll get there.  You'll only ever fail if you quit.


  1. That's a very motivational post you've got there.

  2. Well said. Looking forward to release day, and photos of you jumping out of a plane. Running is awesome and oxygenates the brain, which in turn makes you more alert when writing. No doubt, I need to get back into running.

  3. Woo hoo! Isn't it the most awesome feeling? I'm up to 5 miles without stops, and I didn't think it would EVER happen. If you haven't already, read ULTRAMARATHON MAN: CONFESSIONS OF AN ALL NIGHT RUNNER by Dean Karnazes. Talk about major motivation. Good luck with it!

  4. Congrats on the ease of 6 mile runs. IMHO, if you can run 6 miles comfortably, you can run 26.2 -- you just have to fuel properly + play some mind games.

    Great point about not letting other people tell you what the journey is.

    Gonna check out that book BJ recommends...

  5. What's the fire academy? Are you a fireman?

  6. Congrats on the running I think I need to do the same but I will be pushing 2 but great motivation and that is what everyone needs. I started fit camp workout on saturdays and that is hard but getting better. Great job and can't wait for the book!

  7. This is awesome, Shaun. I think the title is wrong though. This isn't stupidity. This is sheer determination. And man, I wish I had more of this all the time :)


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