A Fan of ‘Feel Like It’

by Cris Gladly on November 10, 2011

Just ’cause you want to …”
Just for the hell of it …
Just ’cause you feel like it …

How rare it is that we allow ourselves permission in life to indulge in something
simply … because.

Last spring I decided to learn to run.
I had a weird deeply entrenched fear of running my entire life.
Can’t explain it. I have no real reason why.
Like most things in my life,
I was just irrationally scared of it.

So, I walked instead.
And when I went Solo I began walking almost daily.
My personal ‘movement meditation’ along my quaint neighborhood tree-lined street.
It was lovely.

Except that several months in,
I started to get the compulsion … to go faster.

It got to the point where the voice in my head would chant:
Run! Run! Run!
But I didn’t.
Still too scared of it.

Until a day finally came when I suddenly decided
I wanted to start learning to run right away.
(boom!) – Now! — just like that.
There was no major reason why it had to be then vs. any other time.
I just suddenly… felt like it.

So I called my most unassuming runner friend
and asked her to take me on my first run.
We went Easter morning last Spring.
I fell in love with running instantly.

After that, I charted a simple two-mile route and said to myself:
go as often as you feel like it.
Seven months later, sometimes I feel like it 5 times per week, sometimes only once.
But every time I go, I think: “wow, I am in looove with this!”
Every time I go I am smiling to the core of me when I’m done.

Exactly what I’m doing.
Exactly as I’m doing it.
= Me feeling happy, happy, happy.

And yet friends and acquaintances constantly ask me:
“So how is the running progressing? …” … [It’s Not.]
“Have you upped your miles yet? …” … [Nope.]
“When are you going to do your first 5K? …” … [Never.]

When I explain to people that I’m running just because I love it;
just because it feels good in and of itself
(without ever-increasing success goals attached),
most of them seem almost annoyed by that sentiment.
Like I’ve broken some social mores
and they no longer know how to relate.

Our culture is so conditioned to quantify and qualify everything we do.
The vibrancy of our lives is so deadened with:
More. Bigger. Better. Faster
Must. Should.
And, the almighty Have To.

What happened to doing something just for the fun of it?

A friend makes a cute craft …
Right away people tell her she should start a side business.

A child does his first forward roll …
Ten minutes later his parents have him signed up for Olympics-level gymnastics camp.

Why do we deem anything non-goal/outcome based as “a waste of time”?
Isn’t there value in doing something simply because we love it?

I, for one, need to offset the relentless day-to-day levity of “must and should”
with a healthy irreverent dose of “just because”.

So, I’m going to keep on running my tree-lined two miles.
I’m going to keep doing so for as long as it lights me up inside.

It’s not about increasing stamina or cardio output.
Running just makes me really happy.
And that’s ALL the justification I need to lace up and have at it.

Will I ever up my speed,
increase my stride,
or go the extra mile?

Maybe.

But … only when I feel like it.

How about YOU?
Are YOU a Fan of “Feel Like It”?
What do you do purely for the love of it?
(No agenda attached).

Leave a comment.
I’d love to hear about it!
And if the answer is ‘nothing’…
Perhaps today is the day to finally indulge in a little “just because”!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott Powers November 10, 2011 at 4:20 am

Dear Cris….I so get this. I’m a very good runner, it’s what happens when you’re 6’1 but with legs for someone who is 6’4. I did my share of races and marathons and I’m always asked to run on someone’s relay, but I almost never say yes. I don’t want to clock miles and time, the pressure of always trying to “make it better and faster”. I have enough of that in the rest of my life. So yes, I want to run when I feel like it. Sometimes I start off slow, sometimes I take off like a caged puma, but its my call, there is no training regiment to follow. I am happy to do it ‘just because’. Great post!

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Cris: Gladly November 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Hiya, friend Scott! Thanks for dropping by. Love the comment. With you 100% (except I wouldn’t categorize myself as a ‘very good’ runner … haha). There are days when everything goes smooth and easy on the run. My mind runs “inside” the music (fyi: I run to several tracks from Explosions in the Sky) and my body is so fluid and the stride is right and the breeze is right and I have been known to literally run through neighbor’s sprinklers and hive-five tree branches as I glide. Love those runs. Other days, every single step is awkward and stiff and resistance is with me and I’m like “just make it to the red light .. okay, just make it to the corner … ok, just make it to that last driveway … oh, shit, now I’ve got to make it all the way back…” … but you know what, as much as I love the ‘in the flow’ runs … i love these clunky runs even more, b/c I’m just SO proud of myself for getting out there and doing it anyway. I’m learning that half the game in life is simply showing up!! It doesn’t have to be good. I just have to show up and try and THAT is good and worth celebrating. So yea… keep on running, brotherman!

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!! Love seeing you here. Yay!!!

xo,
c:g

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Christy November 11, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I LOVE your post. It’s so true that many of us have this fear of running. I had it for a long time and when I faced it, my entire life changed.

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Cris: Gladly November 12, 2011 at 4:01 am

It was the oddest thing … my fear of running. I’ve never been a Sporty Spice (as I like to call it) … you know, one of those naturally athletic girls. I’m still not one. But all of a sudden this compulsion came over me to give it a try and now, I’m like: how did I go my entire life and not know how much I’m in love with this?!!! I feel so amazing when I run. Even when the hips and knees hurt. :) It is such a powerful reminder to me that there are always parts of us still waiting to unfurl if we’d just let go of fear. Running is such a simple pleasure, I suppose but I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on it. Later in life discovery is better than never in life.

Thank you so much for the enthusiasm about the post. My entire life changed since I started running, too. Makes me wonder what else I might discover that I love!!! :) How exciting … this road ahead of mine. :)

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Lisa Claudia Briggs November 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Oh do I loooove this! It’s the feeling that guides you and the feeling that is the reward… making it be about how often or how far or how fast…we all know where that ends up.. in “have to”, “should have”..”not good enough” and all the other perfectionism places that drain every ounce of our lifeforce. You knew the perfect time..perfect came from how it felt and listening so beautifully to that intuitive knowing.. I can see you, flying like the wind. Beautiful..

love and blessings,
Lisa
http://www.Intuitivebody.com
Simple sacred solutions for living beautifully in your body.

Reply

Cris: Gladly November 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Thanks, Lisa. Indeed, there are times I do feel like I’m flying when i run. And the times I struggle through every step of the run are equally beautiful to me. NOW I’m just trying to apply this approach to life in general. I still trip over “should” and “have to” quite a bit in the day to day … but I’m getting there. :) p.s. Love your tag line. Living beautifully in your body is a topic on my mind a lot lately. Have a blog post coming out on that very topic this week. Stay tuned. And thanks for flying green skies with me!!

xo,
c:g

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