August 29, 2017.
That's the day I began my run streak. When I committed to running at least one mile every day for the rest of my life.
But let me go back to August 25-29. When Hurricane Harvey was pounding the Houston area with over 51 inches of rain.
During the storm, when there was water everywhere, I happened upon an article on Runners World's website titled something along the lines of, "What I Learned From Running At Least One Mile a Day Every Day For 250 Days".
After I read the article, I got inspired and thought, "I can do that".
And as soon as Harvey left and my street drained of the water (fortunately, our house was not flooded), I began my run streak.
On November 6, 2019...I hit 800 days.
Eight. Hundred. Days!
And in case you're wondering, I posted this article on November 7th and the streak is still alive: 801 days.
Some people, over the years, have suggested I take a day off.
Um, excuse me? What part of "every day" don't you understand?
I don't run to maintain my streak...though it is inspiring to me.
I run because I love running.
It's just me, my Apple Watch and an audiobook, podcast and some high energy Christian music (usually hip hop...and yes, there is such a thing).
My runs now last 30 minutes (gotta close those rings!) and how far I run depends on how fast I run. But I'm not racing anyone (other than me, I suppose). Nor am I training for a marathon.
Some days are better than others.
Even though my wife and I live in Houston, Texas, the weather doesn't always cooperate (as Hurricane Harvey demonstrated). I've run in the heat (over 100 degrees), cold, rain and very windy conditions. The worst day was probably in the winter of 2018-2019 when it was in the low 40s and raining. All-day long. But every day means every day, so... I was so cold and soaked when I returned home, I immediately jumped into a nice, long, hot shower.
I've also run with a not-so-happy back (I'm 54 years young), legs feeling like they were concrete blocks and when I had a 45-minute window to get a 30-minute run in as a storm was approaching.
But every day means every day.
I run wherever I am in the world. (Just between you and me, visiting the other side of the world concerns me as I wonder how I would keep my streak alive.)
Am I crazy? Or just committed? I'll leave you to decide.
I'm not running daily to impress anyone...not even my beloved wife. I run because I want to.
But as added motivation, after my mother was diagnosed with late-onset Alzheimer's Disease, I had the opportunity to talk to her neuropsychologist. I asked him about an article I had read on the Runner's World website about how people who stay physically fit may never get Alzheimer's or a related disease. Was this true? He told me that while there are no guarantees in life, the research has shown that in many cases even if Alzheimer's Disease runs in your family (my mother's mother and my mother had it), if I take care of myself, I just may postpone or never suffer from it. The operative word there is may.
So, I run every day because I want to be here for a long time for my beautiful Michelle, two daughters (Rebekah and Hannah), granddaughter (Stella), and to take care of my Mom and Dad.
You do a lot of things every day. Some things are done on autopilot, for sure. But others intentionally.
I encourage you to take a moment or two and think about what you're doing every day and evaluate if these things are moving you towards your goals, dreams, and desires or away from them. Make any necessary course corrections.