Habits

I can successfully do only two things without fail every day: Put in and take out my contacts and brush my teeth. Suffice to say, I don’t keep habits. Hell, I even struggle with taking my (non-essential) medicine everyday.

I blame my hectic childhood. You’d think with all that I went through, I’d latch onto habits as a sense of normalcy, and yet I’m an adult who can’t stick with a 30-day, or even 7-day plan.

For years, I’ve been this way because it felt too overwhelming to do otherwise. I was busy dealing with my anxiety, stress or some deep-rooted issues that demanded a lot of my time. I had a hard enough time finding the energy and fortitude to leave my house, interact with the world and feed myself, let alone exercise four times per week, floss, do yoga, journal, take vitamins and any other habit of the month.

Now, well, I am five some-odd years into therapy and no longer have the crippling anxiety that made it tough to leave my house. The anxiety and stress no longer occupy huge swaths of my time and I find myself with enough time on my hands to dedicate to a habit.

It’s time I hold myself accountable. I can no longer fall back on any excuses for why I can’t stick with a behavior. I am completely capable of maintaining a routine that makes time for the things I actually want to do, like fitness, flossing, eating well and actually taking care of my body. I’ve spent years taking care of my mind and soul, it’s time to turn my attention.

So this is all just a long-winded explanation of my year’s resolution; to challenge myself to keep habits. I’d say “keep just one habit,” but I know I can do better than that. I’ve been too soft on myself for too long and you can’t grow unless you challenge yourself.

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The Color Run!

In July, I ran my first 5K. For a girl who usually walked 80 percent of the miles I had to run in junior high school P.E., running roughly three and half miles was/is a big deal. I also set a goal for myself to run a 5K this year and I was so happy that I accomplished it.

My time was somewhere around 35-40 minutes. I meant to time myself, but didn’t bother and had too much fun just running the race.

The Color Run is a unique 5K: At certain intervals along the race path, volunteers hurl colored cornstarch powder at you. By the end of the race, you’re covered in a rainbow of powder and it’s awesome. This year it was at Candlestick Park in the southeastern part of San Francisco. The weather was cold and foggy, but that made running so much easier. My lovely boyfriend woke up with me at 6am on a Saturday to come cheer me on and was waiting at the finish line.

It’s been almost a month since I ran this race, but I wanted to share my experience anyway. Enjoy:

Before: I’m peppy and excited.

After: Exhausted, but triumphant from finishing my first race.

Have you ever run a race? Tell me about it in the comments.