1,000+ Days On The Road Running For My Life
That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. – Forrest Gump
On December 1st, 2014 I started to run. And I’ve ran every day since. 1,000+ days in a row.
In sickness and in health. Come rain or come shine. Come hell or high water.
I’ve ran in the snow. I’ve ran on the ice. And I ran one day fighting a stomach bug that forced me to run with my butt cheeks all clenched up hoping that I wouldn’t leave a trail.
I ran in a light gentle rain that turned into thunderstorm and lightning at exactly the farthest point on my route from the house. That was my fastest run.
And I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge. That was my favorite run.
I don’t run very far, at least a mile, maybe two. And I don’t run very fast. I run so slow sometime buzzards follow me home because they’re not sure I’m going to make it.
But I run. Every. Damn. Day.
It was just a few years ago that I couldn’t run to the mailbox without stopping to catch my breath. And even as a teenager, I was the fat kid trotting around at the back of the pack during football practice, looking over my shoulder hoping coach wouldn’t catch me walking.
I hadn’t run a mile straight for over thirty years when I started trying to run. And in all honesty, it took me a while to work up to it. But you have to walk before you can run.
Once I was able to run a whole mile. I worked my way up to a 5k. That’s when I decided to started running every day.
Author Gretchen Rubin says that “what we do every day matters more than what we do every once in awhile.”
I started running every day mainly because I thought running every day would help me lose weight. When I first started walking and then running, I had lost about 60 pounds, but then I plateaued. Forcing myself out on the road seemed like a good way to push past the plateau.
I was wrong. I’ve ran every day for the last three years or so and I weigh exactly the same as I did on Day 1. Go figure.
I haven’t lost any weight, but I’ve gained something infinitely more valuable:
I would have never thought it was possible to run every day for this long. There’s always an excuse. There’s always something more pressing that needs to be done. And it’s always raining!
But I haven’t melted yet. I go out. I clock my mile. And I come back in and dry off. Easy. Peasy.
The same discipline that I picked up running every day helped me push through to finish and release my first book last year. I had spent 30 years writing advertising copy 90 words at a time. Writing a 50,000 word book seemed like an insurmountable obstacle, but I just kept writing. Every. Damn. Day.
I was feeling pretty proud of my little run streak until today when I sat down and started doing a little research.
It turns out that there is an entire association for people who run at least a mile every day – The US Run Streak Association. Their website RunEveryDay.com keeps a running (lol) list of all their members who have ran at least a mile a day for at least a year, all 657 of them.
I’m going to send in my certification to put me at the 599th longest run streak in America.
#1 on the charts belongs to California’s Jon Sutherland who started running on May 26, 1969 – almost 47 years ago. I’ll have to live to 100 to catch Jon.
When he set out, his goal was to run every day for a year. 47 years later, he’s still running.
“You do dumb things to keep the streak alive,” he said in an interview when he broke the 45 year mark. “Like running on the deck of a boat in a hurricane.”
That’s a lesson I learned from Jerry Seinfeld. Years ago a young comedian asked Seinfeld how he was able to always come up with new material.
His strategy was to buy a giant year-at-a-glance calendar and a big red magic marker. Every day that he wrote a joke, he would put a big red X on that date. And then on the next day. And the next. And the next. Pretty soon you’ve got a little streak going and you’ll do whatever it takes to keep the streak alive.
Whether you’re writing jokes, writing a book or out on the mean streets of America putting one foot in front of the other, every streak begins with day one.
Lace them up with me today and see where your streak takes you.
Terry Lancaster helps salespeople and entrepreneurs create BETTER! lives, build BETTER! careers and grow BETTER! businesses, one step at a time, starting right here, starting right now. He’s an entrepreneur, a speaker and the #1 Best Selling Author of BETTER! Self Help for The Rest Of Us.