The other day I went for a run.

Well, a run(ish), as I like to call it.

I worked hard to push through 3 miles of intervals — 2 minutes of running alternated with a minute of walking. I decided on 3 minute intervals because I knew I could run for 2 minutes at a time and — perhaps more importantly — my math skills can handle adding by 3’s without too much effort, seeing as how most of the cells in my body were concentrating on keeping me upright and moving forward.

Well, forward(ish).

I finished up, sweaty and depleted, and my trusty Garmin buzzed at me one more time than it usually would. I looked down to investigate and it was congratulating me on a PR: “YOU RAN YOUR FASTEST MILE YET!!!” it proclaimed in all caps. Now, I’ve only had the Garmin since Labor Day (what can I say, I’m incapable of resisting a good REI holiday sale), so this isn’t tracking over a long period of time, but I do believe that I puffed my chest out just a touch when I read that.

[Side note: I find it hilarious and ironic that my nephew, who I paced through his first 5k’s a few years ago, can now do two miles in thimg_20160916_194222e time it takes me to do one … he’s awesome … and doesn’t let me forget it… teenagers…]

So, my run(ish) and moving forward(ish) were enough to make a difference. Perhaps there might be a lot of power in the “ish”?

Starting back up with all this stuff, I qualify the things I do because I want people to know that I understand that I’m a long way from not only where I was but where I want to be. I’m not running, I “kind of ” run. I’m not training, I’m “doing a little something”. I side-eye running, feeling like I’m almost doing it, but not quite. Not doing it the right way, maybe that’s what I think. And from there was born the “run(ish)”.

But the ish seems like it might be enough, at least for now. It’s like finding this weird middle ground where I don’t have to feel the (self-imposed) pressure of “real” running, but I’m still out there doing it in a way that pushes me to progress on my own terms.

Perhaps I’ll just keep on ish-ing and see what happens. So far, my Garmin seems to be pretty happy with the ISH.


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  1. This is brilliant! You could come up with a a series of “ish” initiatives for those of us who fall into the perfectionist trap. I love this: ” … finding the middle ground where I don’t have to feel the (self-imposed) pressure of “real” running, but I’m still out there doing it in a way that pushes me to progress on my own terms.”

  2. I think “ish” is liberating. It’s VERY close to “is” and autocorrect wanted to turn it into “wish.” I think that about sums it up: a wish about what is. What*ever* it takes to overcome resistance to doing anything at all, eh? Well done!

  3. This is such a great reminder to any of us who are wishing to make progress but think that a hard charge at it is the only way. You offer a gentle and yet, sensible alternative – the effort sweet spot – “the ish”. In my mind’s eye, I see you quietly, surreptitiously sneaking up on a faster mile time 😀

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