Letting my Running and Writing Go to the Dogs

Writing and running go together.  No you don’t have to run to be a writer nor do you have to write in order to run but it does help.

Well it helps me.

In a weird twist of the worst timing ever we had to make the painful decision to say good bye to my good buddy Max, my Golden Retriever, the day before a 10k I was scheduled to run.

Max was mostly a Golden…he also had a bit of collie and Great Pyrenees in him as well.  Well it was a guess but in the end he was just Max.

That was good though because my other two Goldens, Riley and Sophie died rather young at 8 and 7 of cancer and heart issues common to purebred Goldens.  Max being a bit of a mix had the advantage of avoiding this and was 15 when he left us.

He was my love bug, my empty nest dog and I will miss him forever.

So the day before the race we said good- bye to my faithful, secret keeping, confidant, best listener of all time friend.  It was the kindest thing to do and he had kept his promise to hang on and be there for me when my Mom died earlier that year.

I was not in the mood to run a 10k and if I have learned anything from running it’s that if your heart isn’t in it then it will be a struggle.

And yet…I had paid my race fee and I had nothing better to do so I went.

I went with a new intention.  Screw the time. I’m a slow runner anyway but my fervent hope is that I will outlive all these super fast runners my age and place first in my age group in my 90’s!

Pipe dreams, we all have them. 🙂

My new intention was to stop and pet 15 golden retrievers in honor of Max.  Also I was going to enjoy the day, take in the sights and just have fun.

Oh and cross the finish line.

So I did just that.  This is a fun race with lots of people on the sidelines cheering you on and fortunately for me there were lots of dogs.

I did find my 15 Goldens and I crossed the finished line.  Thanks Max

Writing is much the same.  Well it is for me anyways.  If I have a deadline to meet or a story I want to tell it always goes better if I remember to have fun, enjoy the process, pet the dogs along the way and get it done.

It doesn’t have to be perfect.  I can take my time.  I can write what I’d like to read.  I put one word on the paper and then the next one, just like I put one step after another in running.

If I get stuck I go for a run.  My best ideas come while I am running.  In all honesty running is kind of a mindless activity.  I have to keep going or I won’t get home.  I take in the sights and keep aware of my surroundings.  I even stop to take a photo of blue skies or something that catches my eye.

Or I stop to write down the brilliant writing idea that just came to me and I KNOW will not be remembered once I cross the finish line aka get home.

The only difference between writing and running is I can edit my writing.  Can’t edit my running.  Once I am done, it is done. No do overs.

And that my dear friends is the best part.  With running I did my best for that run and I get to do it again the next day if I want to and I usually do.

With writing, the finish line usually is hitting the send button which appears to be easy but often is not.

Unlike races there is no one to cheer for you once you hit send, give you a medal, or offer you some water and a banana.

Yet in my head I hear the cheers.  You did it.  You finished that short story, the blog post, the chapter in your book.

So I celebrate and look forward to whatever I want to write next.

A friend called me today and said she had signed up for a 5 mile race and was having serious doubts.

I told her to remember to have fun, think about the finish line, enjoy the sights and remember she’s beating everyone who is still in bed.

Write your story, run your own race, have fun.  Pet the dogs and celebrate you!

And of course..keep triing.  Jennifer

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