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Why I’m doing #30in30 and #writelikecrazy

Eleven years ago a woman at my gym approached me and said she’d noticed me running on the treadmill. She said it was much easier to run outside, on the road, and that I should join her and a few others for a regular run.

She gave me the details and I decided to do it, at least once. I find being in the gym, especially when I’m not taking a class, a little intimidating. She was nice enough to approach me, so I was open to giving it a try.

I met her and two others for an evening run after having mostly been on the treadmill. We went for a little over three miles and I ran most of it. One of the runners stayed with me, gave me tips and, quite obviously, slowed his pace on my account.

Running was and is not my thing and I hadn’t run consistently before. Being with that small group made it hard for me to let myself off the hook. I really wanted to stop and walk for more than half of the distance, but I wanted to keep up as well.

After that first evening I met the group a few times after work. The woman who talked me into told me one evening that I should pick a 5K and train for that. That’s what they were doing, so I did think about it and picked a race on July 4th. (This is the good side of peer pressure).

I thought about that experience today, because I’m doing both #30in30 (a post a day challenge started by Aliya S. King) and #writelikecrazy (a writer’s challenge created by Tayari Jones).

I don’t like to run. However during that one summer, I ran. Running with the group (community) and committing to meeting them and signing up for a race (accountability), got me off the treadmill and the couch and onto the road to get ready for the race. I wouldn’t have run the two miles I ran on that first day if it hadn’t been for the rest of the group. And I definitely wouldn’t have continued to do it if I didn’t have a time to show up.

My hope is that #30in30 and #writelikecrazy will have the same affect. The community is online, but still reminds me what the goal is each day. And already I am encouraged by the simple fact of having a few readers. And every day this month I’ll be reminded that I have somewhere to show up – on the page, on my blog.

Here’s hoping the community + accountability combination works all month long.