I’ve been thinking a lot about this writing journey that I’m on. It’s weird to think that at one point of my life, right out of college, and even before that, I wasn’t writing everyday. Even during my first year teaching and possibly into my second year teaching. I just wasn’t as committed as I am now.
It all started with a little blue journal. I got so frustrated that what I wanted and what I was doing didn’t match up. It’s odd, but my real writing journey and my fitness journey happened one after the other, so I feel like the two stories are really interconnected in a way that I never realized.
It was after Nathan and I got married and I was just a little fluffy (30 lbs to be exact) from all the wedded bliss and one day I just got fed up. I realized that eating the way I was eating (hello, La Huerta) and doing the things that I was doing (hello, working long hours and no me time) did not match up with what I was wanting to accomplish. If I wanted to be healthy and fit, I was going to have to do something about it.
For me, my fitness journey started with running. My mom always tells the story that I potty trained myself and stopped drinking a bottle myself. A strong will runs in the family, my friends. I just woke up one day, decided what I wanted, and went after it. I started running, and now I’m a running addict. Within a year, I had lost the fluffiness and now I’m thinner and healthier than I ever was in college. It feels great (minus the fact that the last six weeks have been hell on my schedule, but whatevs, I haven’t gotten off the train, I’ve just been derailed due to scheduling crap).
After I got healthy and was able to feel good about myself, it was like I gained the confidence to start the writing journey for real. I bought a small blue journal and read Thunder and Lightning by Natalie Goldberg. I committed to filling up that little blue journal with my writing over a summer. I wrote every morning. It was a true struggle at first. The words just wouldn’t exit my brain and I struggled to write even two pages in the tiny journal. Some days, I just drew crappy pictures. Eventually, though, I was writing my two pages with ease, then I added a page. Some days I would write ten pages in that little journal. It was like I was finally doing something right.
Now, a couple of years after the fact, I have written three novel length works, I’m in revisions round like a million for Look to the Sky, and I’m chasing my dreams. Sometimes it’s hard. Actually, most of the time it’s hard. It’s frustrating, and my schedule doesn’t always allow me to do all the things that I need to be doing. Sometimes I have to choose between writing and exercise (writing always wins because I’m not fit for human interaction at 4:45 in the morning).
All it took was me making up my mind, and I can’t help but wonder if I had never gotten right with my body if I would have had the courage and the mental strength to push forward. I have to tell you, forcing myself to run everyday was a hell of a lot easier than forcing myself to write everyday.
Happy writing, running, you know, all the things.