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A Good Workout

Recently, I had to take two weeks off from working out at the gym. I had a lot of great excuses keeping me away those two weeks, but it was rough to get back into the routine. To start, my mind was no longer focused in that direction, which is a nice way of saying I got lazy. It’s easier NOT to go than to actually drag myself there, my schedule a little looser. This is funny because, when in the habit, I crave going to the gym. How quickly the mind falters. When I finally drag myself back, the inevitable happens. It is super hard. The speed in which I used to run decreases and the duration I used to be able to accomplish seems like an unachievable goal. It is harder to move my legs and harder to find sync with my steps. The weights I used to lift, in fact the same weights I was debating on increasing, now feel like semi-trucks. It was just two weeks. When compared to the months I spent going, this seems minute. How quickly our body stumbles.

Why bring up my workout routine in a blog about writing? Because, as I struggled to achieve a respectable workout today, I was presented with a physical example of what happens to those who stop writing. While involved in a routine, things come smooth. Words flow onto paper, our little muse whispering words of brilliance…okay that might be an exaggeration, but you get the point. Everything is happy. During this time, I begin pushing myself further, challenging my ability and growing, just like increasing weights or running speed. Things are great. Then life comes. It has some really awesome excuses. Things hinder my routine and soon I “take a break.” I dive into life and plow through without ever turning back to writing. Then, what used to be something craved turns into something that must be planned for. It’s time to schedule time to get back, it’s time to force myself to write…imagine making this statement about something I love, yet it is no less true then the gym.

Then I’m writing again and, just like the gym, things come slow and stifled. My muse is daydreaming and not speaking. I may have to snap its attention back a few times, urging inspiration to come to me. Even worse, those things I was pushing toward seem unreachable as I backslide in ability. I don’t know if many writers think of this, I never used to. I think, because the writing ability is relatively abstract, we forget that it needs to be nurtured just like a good workout. The older I get, the more this rings true to me. I would like to say that, after having a perfect physical example laid before me, I would promise never to stray from my writing routine ever again. But this would be foolish and a flat out lie. After all, life does create some very good excuses.