Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G is for Going Forward: RoboFriend's Advice for the Weary Writer

I have a friend who I'm pretty sure may be a robot. She's a fantastic girl, and she's a dear old friend. It's just that... she's way too enthusiastic about exercise. I mean, really happy about it. Especially running. No one should like running that much! So it's only logical to assume that one day I will find out she's actually a government-issued robot, placed among us ordinary humans to whip us into shape in order to keep healthcare costs down or something.

Kidding, of course. In all seriousness, I wish I could share her genuine love of sweating, but I do enjoy spending time with my friend, and so we find ourselves working out together now and again. Usually this involves her signing us up for some new and crazy physical challenge. It is because of this friend that I've had the experience of throwing repeated roundhouse kicks to a punching bag, crawling through the mud at six in the morning while an army drill sergeant yells in my ear (true story), and my favorite of all: running Philadelphia's Broad Street Run, a ten mile race through the City of Brotherly Love. And yes, in case you're wondering, you can smell the cheese steaks while you're running. It's pure torture.

We've run that particular race twice now, and to her this is about as difficult as playing a game of hopscotch. Sometimes we've "trained together", which is just a fancy way of saying she ties a rope around my neck and drags me around for several miles while making encouraging statements to keep me from keeling over.

There is one particularly encouraging thing she told me before our first race that has always stuck with me. "If you feel like you can't finish," she said, "just remember that all you have to do is keep going forward." She went on to explain that as long as I put one foot in front of the other, no matter how slowly, I would still be moving forward. She encouraged me not to think about how many miles were left, but just to focus on continuing to make progress, even if I was barely moving (and let me tell you, folks, I was barely moving by about mile eight of this race). But I did finish, and strangely, I actually enjoyed the experience.

Today I'm in the middle of my writing race and I feel like veering off course for the nearest cheese steak stand and watching the others whiz by me. I have an editing deadline to meet, and I'm nowhere near the end of this blog challenge. I also have a little one who seems to be under the impression that her crib has some sort of elite room service package which allows her to order all sorts of things in the middle of the night. "Chocolate milk. Other chocolate milk. Tiger! Bunny! Bunny!"

I'm running on very little sleep, and I feel like there's too much in front of me. But I'm up. And I'm putting one word in front of the other. I'm moving slowly, but I'm moving forward. Thanks, RoboFriend. :)  


  1. Stopping by on the 8th day of the #atozchallenge. Congratulations on a well presented blog. Focused and uncluttered, easy to read. A lot of sites I've visited this week can't say the same thing. If you have time or interest, I am writing about gardens and related topics this month. Stop by and see me.

  2. That is so true. When things are tough, i tell myself to keep going it will be over soon and that it's only a fraction of time compared to the big picture. I seem to tell myself that alot when I'm sick :) But in saying that I think i need to do it more often in other aspects of my life, like writing. I need to keep going forward, keep writing.