One of my best friends perfectly summed up why I ran so much last year: “Is it like having brand new gear, and you just want to go out and use it?”
He was referring to “gear” in the context of gaming, aka playing a video or computer game. For the uninitiated, “gaming” is a broad umbrella term, and the community is pretty diverse. I can’t do it justice here (and by no means am I an expert), but just so we’re speaking the same language, think of “role-playing games” (RPG) like Zelda or World of Warcraft, where you play as a character in the game’s world. You usually start off with limited, basic skills and gear, so in order to improve, you must accomplish certain tasks or objectives. Doing so will give you capital, whether it’s in the form of currency, experience points, etc.
This can be a bit of a slog. Sure, some of it can be fun–especially when you’re still learning the game–but for a lot of people, it’s easy to lose patience. Like, all you want to do is cast spells and fight demons and dragons. Why do you need to spend so much time collecting gold and stomping on Goomba-like characters? Can’t you just get to Level 50 right away and start wreaking havoc on the world with your friends?
Unless you use some cheat code or hire someone to do the grunt work for you, the answer is no: You must go through the process to maximize your character’s powers, and then you can go about being a destroyer of worlds.
However! It isn’t all bad, either. Yes, after the initial high of starting off, it may be a struggle to continue going. But if you stick to it, you accumulate more and more powers, and the more powers you get, the more the game opens up.
For those thinking about starting to work out, I suggest applying the same sort of logic: The beginning is going to be difficult: you just need to accept that. You will struggle and you will get bored and your body will dislike what is happening because you are forcing it to break homeostasis. That’s uncomfortable, and resisting the change happening to your body is normal. But know that if you remain dedicated, remain on the proven path, and remain focused on a goal, it gets easier because your body is getting stronger, too.
I can only use my story, and I’ve referred to it several times in this blog before, but in a nutshell: I ran my first 5K because I wanted to prove that I could do it. It was brutal, and when I was training, I failed to complete 3.1 miles multiple times. But I looked it like this: How else could I complete a 5K if I didn’t actually run? There is neither a cheat code to trick your body into liking run nor can you hire someone to take over your body to run. You need to do it yourself.
That sounds like a scary thought, but I think it’s pretty damn liberating too. Your performance is directly in your hands, so your failures are yours and your successes are yours, too. And if you stick to it, and you start leveling up, and your body starts getting used to being more and more active, you will soon be rewarded with new “gear.” The better gear you get, the more fun it all becomes, and not only will you find past activities more enjoyable, you may even learn you like totally new things too. Like being a destroyer of worlds.
Keep on pushing the pile, friends!