After yesterday’s post someone asked “how” to run – essentially – how to keep doing it. It isn’t a whole lot of fun while you’re doing it. The mind starts to wander, and after a while it’s just you and your knees hurting and trying to keep yourself from stopping.
The (ahem) “secret” is breaking things down into little pieces. But you already knew that.
It might seem insurmountable to try and scale something as insane as running a large New York City park like Prospect Park, but it isn’t too much different than reading a book: you break it down into much smaller parts and go from there. Read 30 pages in a sitting and you’ll be done in 10 days. Make it a regimin. Or losing weight: don’t look at it as “I HAVE TO LOSE 20 POUNDS”, look at it like “I’m gonna not drink soda this week” and then do the same thing again next week.
That’s how you get ‘better’ at anything: you stop thinking about it as a problem and break it down into manageable pieces. Wanna finally finish your novel? 1000 words at a time. Wanna cook a steak dinner? Learn how to peel a potato first. God. Look at me. I’m talking like a “cool freshman English professor” now. Carpe diem, you guys. O captain my captain, etc. But really. Pick a point close by and get there and then when you get to that one, pick another one, and get to there. Learn to enjoy it.
I know this might seem pedantic to some people, but hey, maybe this might work for one person. And that’s all I really give a shit about. Haters gonna hate! Waiters gonna wait.
I have one more of these diary entries, coming up after the race, which is Sunday morning, so here goes nothing, I guess.
Leaving for Chicago in a couple of hours, and packing my bag(s) as I type this.
The whole thing has become quite real. It became somewhat real a month ago when I signed a contract for this endorsement. It’s become very official as I sit here looking at my suitcase, waiting for the car to arrive in an hour.
Anyway, I figure I can talk about something here, so here goes.
I had worried at the beginning that this, in some way, to a certain type of person, might be construed as selling out. For those of you that have been following me on this weird little site for the past five (my god) years, I haven’t been the most, exactly, shall we say, demure of characters. For the first couple of years on here I was stoned half the time and didn’t really give a shit about anyone else. After my Dad died I was massively humbled but emotionally wrecked: it took (actual non-metaphorical) years to build back up the confidence I used to have back before that happened. Now, finally, I don’t know exactly why, but around December last year everything got a little better. I started to take myself a little more seriously. I stopped having a Bukowski-esque death wish. Hey, I got laid a couple times. By a real person! I mean, I’m writing this as if nobody else is going to read it, it’s all a bit self-congratulatory, this post anyway, but I’m getting to a point here. I think now I’m a lot better than I was, is what I’m trying to say.
If you had told me a year ago, two years ago, five years ago, heck, 5 months ago that I was going to be sponsored by a breakfast cereal, I would have slapped you in the face and told you you were a liar and that you had no friends (because a slap, a truth, and then a lie is an excellent way to break someone down, at least thats what they taught me at finishing school). If you would have told me that I’d be getting paid for it, too, I would have keeled over and physically died from laughter. Here lies Ned. He was told something so unbelievable he died laughing. RIP.
I didn’t know how this audience would respond. A fair amount of you (and a fair amount of friends too) thought it was a joke. The more I trained, the more people seemed to believe me. Now, the response is phenomenal. Quite a lot of people have emailed or messaged me saying that they’d gone out running, too, inspired or motivated by this thing I’m doing here.
Shit, man – it works. You lose weight. You feel great about it afterwards. It’s hard goddam work but the best shit takes a lot of work. Except for my ex girlfriend. That was a lot of work with little payoff. I’m wandering here. Back to the point.
Taking money from a company to promote their product is a strange thing in general – and Wheaties and Tough Mudder and Zeus Jones have been really, really cool about this whole thing – basically letting me do what I want in terms of content. Which is rad. I’ve never had money in my savings account. I’ve never had a dog, or enough money to be able to donate. Those are a few things I plan to do. There’s a few cool things I plan to do with this. It’s a little wierd, even saying this, but it should be mentioned: thank you for being a cool audience. For five years this blog had no commercials, and for the last month there have been (essentially) commercials, and I’m very humbled and flattered by the fact that you guys have rolled with it.
(I mean, you guys stuck around when I took several Ambien and posted misspelled Carly Rae Jepsen lyrics one night, but this is a little different.)
I want to pay people to write for The Worst, too. I spent 3 years with no money, not being paid to write. If you want to know the truth of it, that’s how I approached the endorsement deal in the first place: to be able to pay people to write, to know that what they do is worth something, to be able to put in an hour’s work and get honest pay, not a whole lot, I’m no Gatsby, but I can now afford to pay people for the next couple of months to write for the site. For a little while, anyway.
I’ve erred on the side of staying away from posting long, “feely” things on Tumblr – I think the majority of those days are behind me. But all this above this sentence is worth mentioning, as is what is right here:
Basically, thank you.
P.S: I will now go back to posting pictures of Jennifer Lawrence.