Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Running and writing practices as habits

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

After consistently running every other day for the last few weeks, running has become a habit for me once again. It was a habit for many years and then after skipping one day that led to one month, the habit was broken. Whatís great about a habit is that even broken, you can mend it back by continually practicing. I noticed this not only with my running, but also with my writing. I found that the key to creating a habit was keeping a scheduled practice and not listening to fears or worries when they tap me on the shoulder.Me, My Heart, and I :: Running and writing practices as habits

This morning, after I completed my morning pages, I opened my window to see what the weather was like, got dressed, and went outside. I never let anything hinder me from going out. Many times Iíve headed out while it was raining. When itís my day to run, I go and run. Running has improved not only my physical stamina, but also my mental stamina. After warming up with a run along the Arno River, I turned up the tree-lined road that leads to the Piazzale Michelangiolo. I no longer question myself if Iím going to make it up to the top or not; I just know I will. My running habit and has impacted me so much that now my writing practice too has become a habit.

I have two daily writing practices besides my morning pages: a 15-minute free writing practice and two thousand words a day for a new project. When I first made writing my full-time job, I sometimes procrastinated. After I did my morning pages, Iíd find other things to do and avoid doing my other writing practices. Sometimes I didnít feel inspired enough. Iíd convince myself that I just needed to get out of the house and go for a walk. On a good day, I would come back inspired. On a bad day, I wouldnít.

Thanks to my running habit, I treat my writing practices the same way. My two writing practices are just a part of my day. I do them even no matter what even if Iím not motivated or itís late at night. I sit down and just open up a notebook and write. Just like my running habit, I donít question whether I will or not write. Itís a matter of when I will do it and not if I will do it.

Itís a huge shift for me to have my running and writing practices become habits. I feel a great sense of calm now about both of them. I donít stress about if I will do either or listen to my mind if it comes up with excuses. I donít negotiate with the fears or worries any more. I just know that running and writing are a part of my life and that is that.

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