Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why I Run in the Rain

Surely you've heard the creed for the United States Postal Service (USPS) that goes something like "Neither rain, snow, sleet or hail will ever prevent us from delivering the mail." Truth is, there's not an official creed. This phrase happens to be on the wall of a post office in New York City and has somehow made it's way into our minds as the official creed for the entire USPS. Nonetheless, it communicates the intent of our postal carriers to do whatever it takes to get us our mail. It's a picture of commitment.

Commitment is what separates the "doers" and the "watchers." It separates those who gets things done and those who get done by things. It's the determining factor in success and failure. Commitment to our daily tasks will determine the level of our success. It's why I run in the rain.

I am in the process of training for a Half-Marathon. Success in taking on a feat like this is not something obtained by just showing up with running shoes to run 13.1 miles.  You need a schedule and you must be committed to it...event when it rains.

Earlier this week, I was scheduled to knock out one of my scheduled runs and it was raining...hard. I could hear the rain pounding the roof of my house. Donning my rain-gear, I made my way outside. Immediately, my mind began to list all the justifiable reasons for why I should turn around and go back inside. It all made sense. I could have made a flawless case in the court of law as to why I should not run in the rain. Then I heard, "Just shut-up and run!" And that's what I did.

As you may have guessed, the wet pavement in my neighborhood was the birthplace of this post. As I was sloshing through puddles, I began to think about the value of my decision to run in the rain. Obviously, my time was not going to be stellar. I just needed to get this run in for no other reason than to know that I was committed to finishing the task. I've learned that doing the hard things now will pay off later.  For me, I needed to run in the rain at home so that in a few weeks I can run in the sun at the beach.

"I needed to run in the rain at home so that in a few weeks I could run in the sun at the beach." - Tweet This

What goals have you set for 2012? What do you want to improve? I recommend you identify one task and determine the daily actions necessary to accomplishing that task. Then commit to completing those actions as often as you can.  Let me say this again, what you do everyday will determine how much success you will have with the overall task. If not daily, then at least on a set, consistent schedule. The mere act of just completing those actions will help you move in the right direction. It may take a while, but I believe that you'll look back a few months from now and say, "It all started when I began [fill-in-the-blank] everyday."

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  1. This is great, but what about the cold? Does it apply to that as well?

  2. My husband ran this morning in 20 degree weather (10 degree with windchill) and 6 inches of snow on the ground. What makes him successful is the accountability of his running group and keeping commitments. I fully believe that the small things we do add up over time to make the biggest differences in our lives, which is a pont that you made so well with your running example. Great post!

  3. Most definitley...COLD runs count! There have been cold runs, even in the snow! Same principle applies. I love the commercial of the golfer talking about all the things he gets to do on rainy days as you hear and see the rain coming down. Then the camera pans out to show him out in the back yard chipping and you hear, "The only problem is...there are no rainy days."