So the other day out for a “quick” run, which I count as anything under a half hour these days, I passed two of my neighbors who walk everyday together. They’re a cute older couple and they’re both really nice. They wave and say hi, and are generally encouraging.
Well, on Thursday morning, as I passed them in my last mile, the man asked, “How are you doing?”
I answered as I labored by, “chugging along,” which drew a chuckle from him, his wife and myself.
Since then, I’ve been thinking about that description and discovered that chugging is more than a description, it’s a state of mind and it is what I’m doing with both my running and writing. And it’s working for me so well, that I’m thinking of adopting this as the unofficial motto of Chalk Creek Writing Outfit & Running Club.
The official motto is a posse ad esse, which means loosely, from possibility to actuality. So maybe our unofficial slogan can be Just Keep Chugging or something like that. Not sure how you’d translate that, since chugging is an onomatopoeia. I like it and I think it’s important to cultivate a certain mindset as you approach work.
So right now, I’m heavier than I should be and certainly than I want to be but I’ve been getting out there regularly and moving ahead at a consistent, though heavy-footed pace. It’s getting me to the finish line, though not fast. Chugging is also getting me slowly to a smaller waistline.
In writing, I’m also chugging along, which means I’m writing every day, including on this and other websites, doing my research and notes and actually bashing out chapters for the newest book. To be fair, that’s what I had to do as a journalist, too, especially on deadlines. I just had to sit down and chug along, or rather, pound out the story on the keyboard.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t time for crafting a story. You do that in moments away from the keyboard, which includes running for me. And you do that after you’ve written as you review things. The rewrite and the editing of things is more surgical.
But this is my ultimate approach to both enterprises — chugging. I hope to be a little lighter on my feet in the coming months, so my chugging when running looks more like, gazelling, but either way, I want to keep that same attitude of getting out there and pounding the road and the keyboard — turning out miles and pages.
Keep running, keep writing.