OK. To most that sounds a bit ridiculous. You *got* to do what? Usually when you say you *get* to do something it insinuates that it is a privilege or something, right? Like, "I got to go to Mexico for Spring Break!" or "I get to go out to dinner with my girlfriends!". You never hear someone in the parking lot at Meijer exclaiming "I GET to go grocery shopping today with 2 children that need to have every sugary cereal, stupid toy and candy bar in sight!". Pretty sure you've never heard this conversation in Starbucks among friends: "Hey Suzie! I GET to take Jimmy to soccer practice, and then Jane to dance lessons, and then tomorrow I GET to shuttle them off to piano lessons and karate!". Nope! It's more like, "I HAVE to taxi my kids all over God's green earth for various sporting and cultural events". Or "I HAVE to go the the grocery store and drop $100 on who knows what because my kids were in tow".
Or "I HAVE to run 14 miles on one of the crappiest mornings that this Spring has had to offer". That was us for yesterday's run. Since we had the babysitter for another day (man, that girl made some bank!) we decided to do a "destination run" (BTW-doesn't that sound exciting? Destination run. Don't people usually use that term for weddings in far off exotic locales? Hmmm...not so much for us...). So 5 of us (Sara's boss decided she'd join us again...brave soul...) jammed into Peg's Audi and headed off into the sunset...er...East Lansing. We'd decided to run a loop around Michigan State University and then up a nice wooded trail. It would have been something to totally look forward to if it weren't for the 15-20 mph gusts of chilly wind and the fact that the weather channel on my mobile told me it was 32 degrees with a "real feel" of 24 degrees. And, there were little snow flakes flying around. This is APRIL running weather? ARGH!!!
We grumbled. We grumbled as we were driving in the car. We griped as we got out of the car. We groaned as we started out for our run. But guess what? As we ran, things got better. We warmed up. The sun peeked out a little bit. We had new things to look at instead of the same old DeWitt houses and cornfields (and crazy dogs) on our normal route. You always regret it if you skip out on a run, but you never regret running once you are out there doing it.
Somewhere around mile 6 Lisa and I started talking about a mutual friend who is unable to run because of a knee injury. This friend told Lisa, "You go enjoy that long run on Friday. I only wish I could do a 14 mile run too". What?!?!? She wishes she could go out and run for over 2 hours? But then I got to thinking, I wonder if she dreads her swim workouts (she is a super strong swimmer and competes in sprint triathalons). I would give anything to be able to swim as long and far as she does.
Ironically this all ties in to an article I read in this month's Runner's World about this very thing. It was about turning your thinking from "I have to..." to "I get to...". It puts an automatic positive spin on any tasks looming ahead and works for most things. Although, I can tell you, I won't be proclaiming in the aisles of the grocery store "I GET TO SHOP FOR GROCERIES TODAY!!" but I can appreciate that there are many that would give anything to haphazardly walk through the aisles of Meijer and purchase whatever brand of food they wanted instead of generic essentials. And I will most certainly not call my girlfriend and say "I GET TO TAXI MY KIDS AROUND GREATER LANSING 5 EVENINGS THIS WEEK" but I realize there are many that would give anything to just have a child to schelp around.
So this week, I GET to run! I GET to run a 6 miler tomorrow, even though my legs are super sore and tight from Friday. I GET to do an easy few miles on Monday. I GET to speed train with my friends on Wednesday (while teaching my first class!). And I GET to run another 14-15 miles on Friday. Because somewhere out there, someone nursing an injury wishes she could run. Somewhere out there, someone wishes he had the courage to even start to run. Somewhere out there, someone is too sick to get outside and go.
I GET to run and it IS a privilege.