As I came home very late tonight from a very long day at work I was debating if I “had it in me” to do my scheduled run. Before I could even contemplate it, I was changing into workout clothes…it’s discipline, right? Sometimes it’s obsessive, sometimes unrelenting and sometimes crushing…yea that describes discipline in all forms. The point is that I did the run, despite any number of excuses that I could have come up with and have been very justified in honoring; I did the run. It is self-discipline, it drives me.

Discipline is the requirement for the reward. If you want anything bad enough you have to have the discipline to persevere. This is more than simply doing “it”. It is doing “it” when you are tired, sick, sore; it is doing “it” when don’t want to even better than when you do! Tonight’s run was supposed to be a relaxed pace however I pushed to the max of that pace and came out with my fastest yet; on a night after working 11 hours being away from my home for 13 hours…I had my fastest pace in almost two weeks.

I have always been someone that loves rules. Give me a set of rules and I will follow them to the letter. That is why I was the BEST dieter EVER!! I could follow a diet to the letter; measuring every ounce, counting every calorie until I didn’t…and then it was the complete opposite of discipline! It was debauchery at its finest. I could lose the weight like a BOSS but I would gain it back like a BEAST.

When I think about my level of discipline I realize that it does not apply to all things equally. For example, speeding…hmm…I definitely do not follow speed limits but I do keep two hands on the wheel at 9 and 3 and keep my eyes on the road (most of the time). I am sitting here trying to think of what else I am utterly undisciplined at in life and I really cannot think of much as it is a core value of mine.

This is not to suggest that having discipline is premium to lacking discipline. Lacking discipline allows spontaneity and creates a space where things that otherwise would not be possible can and are; this is the place imagination is piqued and dreams are realized. It is the box, right? We are told to stay in our box, our sandbox, stay in our lane; you name it…don’t wander. But when you do…this is where change happens. There were a few times I wandered and the reward was exponentially better.

Last year when I took on my first half-marathon of the season I was trained to do intervals; run/walk, run/walk, run/walk…but something came over me and pushed me to just run and run and run and 13.1 miles later I was crossing a FINISH LINE never having stopped once. It was beyond my wildest comprehension and it was because despite my training and discipline to follow the plan I did what felt right and just ran. The reality is that it was because of the discipline in my training that it was even possible. It was my Forrest Gump moment!

My level of discipline is forceful. I push myself beyond my comfort-level and that is why I get results beyond my expectations. I also sometimes get more than what I bargained for but in the end I always get a result. I am not suggesting this is the “way” but it is a “way”, it is my “way”. The issue if there were to be one is that when I am not following my discipline I feel like I am failing. It is a tremendous amount of pressure to put on oneself but I am hungry for the rules as heartily as I am for the reward.

As I am getting older I am trying to find the gray in my world of black and white; the wander in my world of guardrails and the space outside of the box as this is where the joy lies. Discipline is control and lack of it is surrender… L.

Life by my rules – L.

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