Muscle Memory

I have to be honest, I didn’t do any “pre” writing last night because I wasn’t totally convinced I would get up with the 4:40 alarm for a pre-dawn run. One reason? Totally afraid of the dark. Another? The dark is somehow even creepier at 5 AM.

I did, I have to admit, start a post talking about excuses. It was something to the effect of — gosh, isn’t it easy to make excuses? But what about when they’re legit? Like when your schedule is actually too busy to fit in a workout? WOAH. Delete. Brakes, please, Jillian. Make it happen.

So, I climbed out of bed at 4:40, got dressed, went downstairs and stared out the window. It was dark out there. As usual, I dressed up with enough blinking lights and reflectors that I looked like an out-of-season Christmas tree. Running. Luckily, my training calendar called for a 6 mile fartlek workout, so alternating sprints and jogging was totally appropriate for escaping snapping branches, headlights, and completely imagined noises.

I have a question. Why do we let our fears take such hold over us? Why isn’t there “muscle memory” when something you’re afraid of turns out to be not-so-bad? My fear of running in the dark is well-documented, and yet, each time I do it I start out afraid and end up invigorated (or at the very least, alive). My alarm is going to go off in another few hours and I will hit the road with the same nerves I felt when it went off this morning. I’m not just anticipating it, I’m already experiencing it.

There are a whole host of things I thought I didn’t like that I came around on: eggs, for one. U2. Eating anything purple-colored (it turned out to be an artificial flavor thing, not a purple thing). Matty in the Morning. I’m trying to add running in the dark to the list because it sounds equally absurd and, therefore, must be equally achievable. What’s on your list?