The Oatmeal, an awfully hilarious and brilliant comic website (created by Matthew Inman) writes a perfectly executed comic on the glory and difficulties of running. In light of tonight’s 10K nike run in Tel Aviv, his comic has inspired me to face my inner running demon, otherwise known by The Oatmeal as “THE BLERCH”.
What is the Blerch? It’s slogan looks something like this:
Yea- that’s him, sitting on top of the little famous Nike check- that little cheeky jerk.
Let’s take a step back. What is the Blerch? Well according to The Oatmeal, it’s that little voice inside your head that represents apathy, gluttony and indifference. If you can imagine, that naturally make me feel anxious, guilty and well… just a horrible horrible person.
Running then, becomes a mental game. A game of debate between my inner me’s. Between that Blerch, whispering ego killing words, and that place I love so much of myself: the confidence building, self loving place.
Tonight, I’ll only be running a 10k, but even so, I’m preparing myself for that moment in my run, when the initial adrenaline and excitement, turns into self deprecation. When the Blerch wiggles it’s way into my mind and tells me I’m not that fast of a runner, I’m not that fit, I’m not that good, I can give up, I can slow down and all that other crap that slowly kills your soul and positivity.
There’s comfort in knowing I’m not alone. That the inner blerch is a phenomenon that other people experience.
You see, running is more than a physical activity. It’s just as much physical as it is mental. And so while I’m pushing my body to keep going, I also need to fight the inevitable inner mental war against the Blerch. A war between one side that’s telling me I can’t do it and the other voice that says I can. That the body is ready and capable. That even though the blerch is a wretched lazy beast, I am not. I don’t need to slow down, to walk, to quit. I can do it, and I will do it.
That’s the voice I need to listen to. Because I know that once I do, the payback is great. The moment when I run past the blerch, the moment I leave him stranded and coughing in my dust, is the moment I gain clarity. That’s the moment I’m running for. When suddenly my body and mind come together and there is nothing but silence. Nothing but self satisfaction. And happiness. Oh so much happiness.
So tonight, as I’ll skip gleefully through the lit up streets of Tel Aviv, I’ll need to fight my Blerch with the tools I’m gaining from this blog. I’ll outrun him to find that silence, as long as I can allow the positive repeat itself over and over again in my mind. Tonight I’m loving that positive part of myself. That soldier inside my head that is fighting FOR ME. That’s saying, “I LOVE YOU” and “YOU CAN DO IT. YOU WILL DO IT”. I’m going to love my runners legs that are going to get me, step by step, kilometer by kilometer, closer to the finish line, where I’ll take over-excited sweaty selfies with my friends.