There is no post today. I understand that seems unlikely since you are indeed, at this very moment, reading a post. But … trust me. There is no post today.
I know this because yesterday, when I was supposed to be writing today’s post, I sat at my desk staring out the window. All day. For like 12 hours. Occasionally I’d let my eyes drop and I’d stare at my boots for a change of scenery. It was terrible.
Let me explain a bit about how I work, and how most bloggers work. You have a calendar and you have post ideas written down for the future. I personally have a month’s worth of post ideas scheduled in advance. So at the beginning of the month I know exactly what I’m going to be writing about for the entire month.
This eliminates the stress of OMGWHATAMIGOINGTOWRITEABOUT. Which is an official disorder according to the Medical Association of Bloggers and University Students. Treatment varies but ranges from doing 16 consecutive loads of laundry to attending a kegger.
So I had all my post ideas written on my calendar but for some reason today’s post was missing. I had nothing written down. No scribbles, no ideas, nothing, all I had was a big, fat blank square and the feeling of impending doom that goes with it.
So I stared out the window. A couple of times I took a break from my intensive window staring to walk around and check my sap buckets, talk to some neighbours, and then I got back to my window staring. Every once in a while I’d swivel towards my computer determined to think of something to write about. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to force yourself to come up with an idea but it’s kind of like forcing yourself to poop if you’re constipated. You can try all you want but nothing is going to come out.
In desperation I typed into the Google bar … what can I write about? This brought up a litany of posts from other bloggers with ideas on what to write about! I kicked my heels off of the desk, planted them firmly on the ground and got to reading. Somewhere in between the suggestions of “Write about what you had for lunch” and the very popular “Write about something you know about”, I branched off into YouTube videos of cats doing weird cat things. Somehow that led me to this fun little life tip.
I want you to go to Google right now. In the search bar type “do a barrel roll”. But don’t put the quotation marks in it. I just added those so you knew what I wanted you to type. Go ahead, do it now before you forget.
I can’t say I was instantly cured of my writer’s block but I did feel mildly queasy which was a fun change the feeling of impending doom.
I then headed to Instagram where I asked my followers if they had any ideas. They did. But I didn’t feel like writing about any of them. I guess I just didn’t feel like doing anything. So how did all of this turn out great?
At around 4:30 p.m. I finally decided to give up. That it just wasn’t going to happen and I should just stop stressing about it. I really should have recognized the signs and given up hours earlier instead of wasting time getting nothing accomplished.
I put on my running shoes and tights, plugged in my earbuds and walked out the door. I ran. I ran and I ran and I ran like I’ve never run before. I’ve mentioned that I am a spectacularly bad runner. Either my legs feel like they’re made of cast iron, or they tingle or I keep turning left so I’m never too far from home in case I suddenly get the desire to empty the dishwasher or paint my bedroom.
But not today. Not on this terrible day.
Instead, I trotted off at my usual pace, arthritic elderly tortoise, and felt pretty good. My standard run is 5 km. That is all my body wants to do and that’s all my mind wants to do. By 3km I’m usually thinking about what shortcuts I can take to get home so I can make dinner and eat it all down.
What happened yesterday, on that terribly unproductive day was I ran longer and faster than I have ever run in my life. I had 3 personal bests. Fastest pace, longest duration and most kilometres. And it was easy. I could have kept running forever, but I stopped at 10 km because at the rate I was going I wasn’t going to stop until I ended up on a shrimp boat in Alabama with Lieutenant Dan.
It was great. I felt great.
Somehow all the stars aligned. Something terrible turned into something great because I decided to stop fighting it and leave the terrible behind.
I hope you enjoyed today’s non post where my epiphany for you was to literally run away from your problems.
This post was originally published exactly 3 years ago. I still hate running.
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