When You’ve Been Quiet For Too Long

Moraine Lake at sunrise.

How do you find the motivation to get back into something after setting it aside?

Most recently, I got back into working out.

It started with running after months of no exercise, followed by several weeks of physical therapy in an attempt to get my left knee to stop throwing a fit as if I were 85 and not 23.

I started getting up at 6 a.m., the sky outside brightening later and later until I was heading out the door in complete darkness.

Let’s set the record straight:I am not a morning person. But I love the spirit of mornings; of stretching my legs outside in the fog before the sun burns it away; of making pancakes and brewing tea before the world is awake. In college I made a point to frequent diners at all sorts of hours – 3 in the morning, 7 in the morning – waking up for waffles in a way I would never wake up to do school work. Alas.

Knee flare-ups meant I scaled back the running again and have been following a workout regimen for the month of October, instead. Next weekend I will run a 5k – a year and a half after I first injured my knee and a year and four months after my last race (spoiler alert: two months was not enough to recover and train for said race.)

Committing is hard. Committing to something brand new or after having been out of the game for awhile is even harder.

Here’s what I’ve learned: there will always be a reason not to do something.You have to decide that the reasons to do it matter more. And then find ways to hold yourself accountable.

This can be a persistent friend, a calendar reminder, or straight-up blocking off time on your schedule for whatever it is you never seem to have time for. I’ve been into checklists recently, but you can probably find something less nerdy if you want to. And I don’t give myself an option – I set my alarm for 6 without even considering the possibility of doing anything else.

Oh, and I cut myself some slack. We’re only human, after all.

When I don’t write for long periods of time, I can feel the difference. I get antsy. My head is cloudy more often from all the thoughts hanging out up there, not getting released onto paper (or the internet.) I’ve always hated crowds, and my thoughts do, too.

So here we are, folks. Time to break your silence. I’m writing again – here’s to making it stick.


feature photo taken too early to be awake, Banff National Park, Canada.