Willpower or Lack Thereof

I have never been good with temptation. Out of sight, out of mind may work for the more evolved among us, but if I know there’s an entire tray of blueberry muffins cooling in the kitchen, I know I’m not getting anything done until I’ve devoured one. (On a totally unrelated note: Hey roommate, I ate two of your muffins.)

I’ve tried every trick in the book to cure my sheer lack of willpower. But my edition must be a choose-your-own adventure book, because no matter how many times I leave the room or take a walk or make some tea in an attempt to divert my attention, I always end up flipping to the same exact page where the protagonist kills the dragon, wins the girl and eats a muffin. (I’m telling you, Betty Crocker: stop writing choose-your-own adventure books.)

For years, my ability to hone in on something with such a single-minded focus that it would make a pointer proud has been an indisputable negative for me, culminating in countless trips to the fridge and/or size 14 dress rack.

But not anymore.

Don’t get me wrong – my utter lack of self-control hasn’t gone anywhere – but after years of fighting it, I’ve finally realized how I can bottle it and use it to my advantage: apply it to my workout regimen. Once I’ve gotten a whiff of something – be it a breakfast pastry or a 10-mile road race – my tenacity, drive and just plain stubbornness will see me through to the end.

(And at the end, I can totally justify said breakfast pastry.)

(Thanks for sharing, Sarah! Although I'm not sure whether I should be flattered or offended that this made you think of me.)

Besides next month’s 10K (and October’s marathon, you know, whatever), I hadn’t had any upcoming races on my radar to keep me focused throughout the spring season. As a result, I’ve spent the last several weeks logging miles haphazardly with no real distance/pace/celebrity-sighting objectives, and as the kind of person who thrives on goals, it simply wasn’t working for me.

Fortunately, the New York Road Runners’ spring race registration began today, and I’ve secured myself a spot in four Central Park events, providing me the perfect mix of liveliness (running in a race!) and laziness (running in a race 2 minutes from my apartment!) I may add more as the season progresses, but for now, I’m registered for:

New York Colon Cancer Challenge 15K
Sunday, April 1

Scotland Run 10K
Saturday April 7

UAE Healthy Kidney 10K
Saturday, May 12

FRNY Lesbian and Gay Pride Run
Saturday, June 23

If you’re a New Yorker, come join me for one of them! If you’re a non-New Yorker, come join me for one of them anyways! No matter where you’re hailing from, I promise the post-race festivities will include muffins.

What’s on your race schedule this spring?

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3 Responses to Willpower or Lack Thereof

  1. julia says:

    yo! so there is a chance i’ll be in nyc on april 1. so there is a chance i would maybe want to run that 15k with you. and there is a chance you’ll run way faster than me. but it would still be fun, right? i’m not fooling either!

  2. julia says:

    also. i’m running another race against colon cancer the weekend before. weird.

    • We all know nothing beats colon cancer like road races! Oh right, that and early detection.

      If you’ll be around, you should DEFINITELY join! New York Road Runners’ races are big, lively events with free bagels and cool t-shirts. A number of my friends are running, so if we aren’t targeting the same time, we usually race on our own and have a pre-designated meet-up spot. Then we head to a diner and consume significantly more calories than we burned. Let me know if you’re down!

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