When I was in high school, I was on some medication that had an interesting side effect: the smell of hamburgers being grilled made me want to vomit. I would walk through the neighborhood during the summer time and just feel nauseated. I couldn’t stand the smell and I certainly couldn’t stand to eat a hamburger. So I just didn’t do it. I made a decision — no more hamburgers — and I stuck with it. Granted, it was a fairly easy decision to make considering the way the mere fumes of hamburger made me feel, but it is something that I stuck with then and I still stick with today. I haven’t been on that medication for years, and the smell of backyard cook-outs no longer makes my stomach turn, but it was a decision I felt good about then and I continue to feel good about now, even though my reasons for doing it have changed over the years.
I tell you this not because I think everyone should give up hamburgers, because I don’t, or even to suggest that hamburgers aren’t tasty and delicious, because I’m sure they are. I tell you this because sometimes I think it is important to make decisions. I’m talking about the kind of decision that you only have to make once and then whenever the issue comes up, you don’t have to think about it because the decision is already made. Last fall, I made the decision to not eat sugar for a month. During that month, I didn’t have to think about whether I wanted a cookie or not because I’d already made the decision. Once I’d signed up for the marathon last winter, getting out for a run wasn’t something I had to think much about because I’d already made the decision to do it.
Right now I am in Indecision Land. There are a lot of things I’m undecided about and running another marathon this fall is one of them. It makes it kind of hard to commit to training because maybe I’ll be running it, but maybe I won’t be. So maybe I should be running every day, but maybe it’s okay to be a little bit lax in my training. I’m feeling pretty wishy-washy, I’m flip-flopping, I’m unsettled and a little antsy about it. Every day I have to decide if I’m going to get up early to go running, or if I’m going to push the boys in the jogger. It often comes down to what is easier rather than what I know would be best for me in the long run.
So what I’m saying is, it really is just easier to make a decision. Decide to run the race. Sign up. Print out the training plan. And go. The decision is made. Decide to eat more vegetables. Make the grocery list. Buy the good stuff and eat it all up. Decide to take care of yourself. Decide that your kids are worth staying healthy for, your spouse is worth staying healthy for. And then stick with your decision. It is already made, you just have be true to it.