The conversation in my head went something like this:
It’s really cold outside. What are you going to gain? Just hop on the bike for 90 minutes instead. It’s set up right in your living room.
But there’s no real wind this morning. And maybe I should run. I need to get in some miles if I’m going to finish the Y-10 in a few weeks.
You’re not worried about performance this year. Do yoga and core work instead.
Then again, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to run outside today even if I will be extremely slow.
While my brain was playing out all of the possibilities, another voice emerged. “What do you want to do?” it asked.
It didn’t ask for reasons or justifications. It didn’t ask about training plans or average pace. It only asked me what I really wanted. And so without further thinking or internal debate, I pulled together my cold-weather gear — two layers of running tights, three layers of shirts, a pair of fleece bands around my ears and face and gloves. I threw on my Garmin to keep track of my distance and off I went.
It was actually a beautiful morning. Quiet with a few cars and the occasional school bus. Once I crossed the street to make room for a plow as snow softly fell, accumulating a few inches on the roadways.
My Garmin beeped at every mile and I checked out my pace which was nothing at all to write home about and at another time would have made me anxious. I would have bought into some story wrapping up my self-worth in some arbitrary performance. Sometimes, I still find that I bully myself, but growth has come in recognizing the destructive ways in which I speak to myself and understanding that I can choose something different.
So this morning I put my self judgements aside and ran four miles in 4 degrees with a steady light snow.
And I was happy.