Convenience. I was in a pretty good running routine up until about late 2016 / early 2015, and I haven’t gotten my groove back on yet. While I can point to several factors, I think it’s convenience that kept me running,
and lack of it that caused me to falter.
My life was turned upside down in 2015 & 2016
I was hit with a lot of life-change: An unexpected divorce, a move, another move, a new job, working overnights and then switching to a day shift.
Through most of it, I was able to keep running because running remained convenient. Going for a good, long run was as easy as heading out the door of my house or apartment. Even if I didn’t feel like going for a run, I simply had to get my shoes on and get out the door before I had a chance to talk myself out of it.
Then I moved to Elkhart, Indiana
Let me get this out of the way immediately: It’s a beautiful city. My experience of it has been that it’s charming, friendly, and very different from Grand Rapids in many nice ways. And, yes, there are many runners in Elkhart.
It’s also very rural in comparison. Almost no sidewalks, except in certain areas. And if you wanna run regularly, you gotta really want it. Because you are likely to either be running on along a busy road with no sidewalks, or driving out to a park somewhere.
Many of the parks I’ve been to in the past year have some nice walking trails. The problem I had with a few of them is that they’re only meant for walking. A few of my favorites are only about a mile-long loop.
Lesson learned: there is value in convenience
As long as I lived in an area where running was as simple as going out the door, I was fine. This provided a wonderful safety net for my running routine when everything in my life went pear-shaped. So up until a few years back, if someone would have complained that running wasn’t convenient I would have thought to myself “This poor sap just doesn’t want it bad enough.”
Now I know better. While there’s something to be said for wanting something bad enough to just “make it happen,” there’s also value in having convenience combined with a routine, for those times when life gets messy and unpredictable.