Sunday, January 1, 2012

You Ain’t Cool Unless…

Last night I was blatantly reminded what shut up and run means. Some people don’t “get” the title of this blog. They think I am trying to be funny or edgy or rude. Not really. If I wanted that, I’d have named this blog “Dicks and Donuts,” or something cool like that.

I remember the day back in 2009 when I had first started this blog under it’s original name, “Run with Me.” Nothing wrong with the name except that it put me to sleep. I wasn’t necessarily looking to re-name the blog, but sometimes the flow of life morphs from a trickle to Niagara falls, and voila! divine intervention.

When I started training for my first marathon in the fall of 2008, I can't tell you how many people told me:

  • I wish I could do that. I'm too lazy.
  • I could never run a marathon. I don’t have the time.
  • I don’t run. It’s too hard for me.
  • I wish I could run/exercise/lose weight, but I’m just not motivated

Every single time, I thought: What bullshit. What excuses. And, no, I’m not perfect either.

Granted, not everyone has to run a marathon, but I never understood why people who wanted to exercise were not doing it. It’s not rocket science. You get out and do it. You turn off your brain that is feeding you rationalizations and you get out there. You shut up and run.

Ever see a double-below-the-knee amputee running a marathon or completing an Ironman? That’s shut up and run.

Do you know someone who works full time, has a family, but gets up at 4:00 a.m. every morning just to make sure his/her running happens? That’s shut up and run.

I’m sure I’m not the first or only one to use the phrase. Never said I was. I did, however, invent “Just Do It.”

ATEOTD (At The End Of The Day – most overused phrase ever), we are responsible for our lives. No one can or should do it for us. If your life is not what you want it to be, it is your fault. It is my fault. I don’t care what hand you’ve been dealt, being a victim of your circumstances gets you nowhere.

Back to last  night - an acquaintance came up to me – someone I have only met once or twice when our kids played sports together. She told me she had heard about my blog, but had never read it. She still has never read it (what’s wrong with her?).

She told me that when she learned that the title was Shut Up and Run, she didn’t really get it. What the hell does SUAR mean? She looked at her own life and realized that for years she had wanted to run, but did not and could not. After she had kids, every time she would try to run, she’d pee herself a bit. Shut up and run. Shut up and run swirled around in her head. She realized that she’d used the pee thing as an excuse. She knew she could buy pads and run and that it wouldn’t matter if she peed a bit. She’d be running, something she loved and found totally invigorating. And, now she runs and pees and is ecstatic. She shuts up and pees!

At any moment we have a choice to buy our excuses and let ourselves off the hook, or we can stop doing the same thing we’ve always done (listened to our own bullshit) and do whatever it is we know we need to do.

What’s your biggest excuse for not exercising, losing weight or whatever it is you want to do but aren’t? My excuses, past and present, are usually that I think stuff will just happen and I don’t need to try to make it happen. I wait around too much.

SUAR

85 comments:

  1. Love it! My excuse used to be no time, I am too tired... not it is part of my weekly routine. If I don't exercise I feel gross.

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  2. Great post.. but I can't say I've had excuses I'm one of those who say, "Why aren't you??"

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  3. My biggest excuse? I don't have time. Turns out, though, if I have time to sit on the couch and eat half a bag of chips, I can probably stand to run a few miles.

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  4. Time is also a big excuse for me. And yet, if I plan out my day, I can usually find 30 minutes to fit a run in. I think planning is key for me. I am going to limit my sugar intake for the next 30 days, and the only way it will happen, is if I plan out my meals and snacks.

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  5. I love this post! My excuse is usually that I should get my house clean first, but I end up deciding to run instead. Who needs a clean house anyways, right?

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  6. Although I do exercise and eat well most of the time . . . sometimes I just throw in the towel.
    For me, I get into trouble when I compare myself against others. Many people in my age group don't exercise. Many people say that I am inspiring, that they can't believe all the things I do. Most times I don't really think much of it. Heck - if I can do things so can they - but why don't they? Well sometimes I don't either, I figure if they don't break their asses on a regular basis . . . why do I? . . . then I wake up and realize that this is MY LIFE and MY BODY and I am the only person that can even remotely control the outcome . . . and then I Shut Up and Run!

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  7. I love this. I try to not make excuses anymore - at least when I am making excuses I can call myself out on my own bullshit nowadays - kick myself in the ass and get out and do what I need to.

    I make excuses for other stuff. Like I have to SUAETDW (shut up and empty the dish washer) or SUADTL (shut up and do the laundry)...

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  8. So true, love this post! Luckily I don't have many excuses as I love to motivate others. But occasionally my excuse is "I've been up all night with babies and I'm tired." :)

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  9. This was exactly what I needed today. I've been injured and feeling sorry for myself...working way too many hours and fighting a huge sense of defeat at my lack of motivation. No more excuses. It's time I became a participant in my life...not just a spectator.

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  10. I'm about to start a new job that will include a lot of travel early on. To prevent an overusage of "I can't run because I'll be traveling...", I've already scoped out the right hotels. You know, the ones that include treadmills.

    Check!

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  11. This is so true. Many years ago, I told my boss, an avid runner and workaholic that I didn't have time to run. He looked at me and said, "you're really saying that to me? You have time. You just don't make the time." He was right, and I never forgot that. It pissed me off when he said it, but I realized what he said was true. He worked as much and sometimes more than me and had two kids. What was my excuse. Now, I love to piss people off and say that exact thing to them when they tell me I don't have time. I'm a lawyer. I work crazy hours. Sometimes, I work 20 hours a day. But, even when I'm in trial, I will find time to run. Period. You just get your ass up, shut up and run. Thank you for getting it!

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  12. I've never said this in my whole life, but based on that sign? I AM COOL! ;)

    I'm not perfect but I don't like excuses for anything. People tell me how "lucky" I am to be thin. WTF? Do you KNOW how hard I work to be able to wear my skinny jeans? Probably not or you wouldn't say something so assanine. I had 4 kids in 6 years. I gained a boatload of weight each time. I worked my hiney off to lose that weight each time. I'm done patting myself on the back now. The point is I have 4 little excuses NOT to be in shape...and 4 reasons why I HAVE to be. Catch 22. (Second most used phrase of all time, maybe?).

    Thanks for this post. I'm sending everyone I know who has always handed me excuses over to read it.

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  13. This is so true. Many years ago, I told my boss, an avid runner and workaholic that I didn't have time to run. He looked at me and said, "you're really saying that to me? You have time. You just don't make the time." He was right, and I never forgot that. It pissed me off when he said it, but I realized what he said was true. He worked as much and sometimes more than me and had two kids. What was my excuse. Now, I love to piss people off and say that exact thing to them when they tell me I don't have time. I'm a lawyer. I work crazy hours. Sometimes, I work 20 hours a day. But, even when I'm in trial, I will find time to run. Period. You just get your ass up, shut up and run. Thank you for getting it!

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  14. Love this! I just made the following the quote at the bottom of my email: "...At The End Of The Day....we are responsible for our lives. No one can or should do it for us. If your life is not what you want it to be, it is your fault. It is my fault. I don’t care what hand you’ve been dealt, being a victim of your circumstances gets you nowhere." ~ Beth Risdon, Runner, Writer, Blogger

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  15. I love this post! I had a million excuses until one day, about 2 yrs ago, i shut up and runned, or ran!! I was po'd that my friend who was not a workout buff had a run a 5k and I not only wanted to do one, but do one and blow her time outta the water! so...I did! i've been running every since.

    I agree with the excuses, and when i signed up for my 1st 1/2 and HAD to do the training, the excuses went out the window. i'm a big fritter-er of time, so my house looked like crud and dinner was half-assed sometimes, but, i DID IT! Thank you for always reminding us that our life is what we choose it to be, and we can either choose to get off the couch and LIVE or just be mediocre like everyone else, in whatever we do.

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  16. When I'm running and whining that I'm tired I tell myself SUAR. Works every time!

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  17. Love it and that she just gets on with it and pees!! Time is my biggest excuse, I know it's a lie too! I AM busy, but not too busy to read or watch tv, so I'm not too busy to run or exercise. And I've made it a priority for the last couple of months and am SO much happier!!

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  18. My biggest excuse is that I deserve a break...I work hard and play hard, and then justify skipping workouts because I think that one little day off won't hurt me. Sometimes that's true, but that mentality can snowball sometimes and then one day off turns into 2 days off, etc.

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  19. I was in the hospital for 5days right before Christmas and then had to take it easy for the following week. During that down time, I wondered to myself, what the hell would I do with all of this extra time if I didn't work out?? I was soooo bored! Got the go ahead to run on Wednesday and haven't skipped a day! Singing and running!

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  20. My biggest excuse - to not even try running - was that I don't have a runner's body. And I don't. I'm short, and not one muscle in my body is long and lean. I was a competitive gymnast growing up, and somehow I got it into my mind that certain body types do certain sports, which is certainly true for gymnastics. But what I finally realized is that, while I don't have a traditional runner's body, I'm still able to run. Not fast. But with wild abandon and joy.

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  21. It all boils down to fear right? I have that book you suggested "a Year With Elanor" lost on my iphone somewhere, I am meaning to read it because I know all that applies to me. I have also found myself becoming a bit of a snob...if people keep making excuses and never get over whatever it is, but keeps talking about it...I kind of let them go.

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  22. I'm too tired, I don't have enough time, blah, blah, blah. Sometimes I don't get out til 9:00 at night to start my run (which could be from 3-11 depending on the time of year) and get up at 5:30 for work. You have the time, you just have to make it.

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  23. If something is important to you, you'll find a way to get it done. If it isn't important, you'll come up with excuses. I have worked really hard to lose a lot of weight. People who don't know that will say "I'd give anything to be slender like you" I sometimes say "no you wouldn't, because if you meant that, you would look like me". More often than not, I don't say anything at all. It seems far more acceptable to wallow in misery than to celebrate in success. This blog post was a great reminder.

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  24. This is a great post. My "superKate" came from the same place your "shut up and run" did...people thought oh I could never do that (marathon, mountain bike race, whatever). But if I can, anyone can, and if you look at me you wouldn't guess I'd done (not necessarily well, but done) some of the really cool things I've done.

    And my biggest excuse was always fear...of looking silly, failing, doing something alone. Those fears got shoved aside as I started training for my first 5k. Now the fear is of getting hurt (mountain biking) or holding training partners back, but I have big goals and no room for fear to get in my way. It's still there, but it's shoved in the corner like a pair of dirty socks.

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  25. Good post Beth!

    I do not make excuses or surround myself with people who do. Screw 'em. I just do not have time to listen to them complain .

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  26. I. Love. This. Post. Love it.

    I'm not a huge excuse maker, I make workouts a priority. If anything, I have a lack of self confidence and let fear get in my way sometimes. "Shut up and run" is my new mantra.

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  27. I needed this today. We did family stuff all weekend out of town and just got home. I was feeling like I needed a run but blah blah blah, it was dark and cold and windy and icy... but then I got my ass out there and did it. Well, I walked the icy parts because I like not having broken bones.

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  28. That is why I keep coming back here. No excuses, no bullshit (well maybe a little crap humor). People do get what Shut up and run means, they just don't want to do it sometimes.

    H.

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  29. Here's the quote posted on my refrigerator - "Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Theresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.".
    I also think about the athlete I saw at a triathlon I did. He had one leg amputated, and had three prosthetic legs for the race, a different "style" for each sport. That's SUAR!

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  30. 40+ years of getting up and out the door and still loving every moment of it. I have never had an excuse, unless I was really sick or injured...got out this a.m. for 23 glorious mtn. bike miles. Great way to begin the new year! Happy 2012~!

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  31. Have seen/met a triple amputee at Oceanside one year. THAT is SUAR!

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  32. For me, it's a confidence issue, but I'm starting--finally--to overcome that pesky voice in my head telling me I can't do it. I'm telling the negative voice to shut up so I can run!

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  33. AWESOME post!!! I so agree! I have a friend who pees her pants every time she runs. She's awesome. She just runs, and we laugh. Last time we ran together she said, I'm sorry I pee... it probably embarrasses you to be seen with me. I said, no way, I'M not the one who peed, so I don't care. ;)

    Anyway, YES... I get so sick of the "I wishers" and the "If onlies". Just SHUT UP and RUN. Amen.

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  34. I didn't realize you meant she literally peed herself each time. That is rough. She is awesome for slapping a pad on and running anyway. That is definitely "shut up and run".

    I hate hearing excuses. And Angela especially hates hearing them because she is a personal trainer and has to listen to it every single day. Her best clients are the ones that take responsibility and are honest with themselves. They are also the most successful.

    Some of my own friends frequently say things like "I really need to work out but by the time I get home from work and make dinner I am just so tired". HELLO! Who doesn't have to work? We all work! We're all tired. Just do it (thanks for inventing that, by the way). Suck it up. Quit your yappin' and get moving!

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  35. I love this post. I spent the first 40 years of my life telling myself that I could never be a runner: runners are born not made, I don't have the body type, I am not athletic blah blah blah. I was so convincing that I NEVER ran. When I hit 40, I found that I was less willing to settle for anything or believe my own lies and then it dawned on me that I have done some pretty awesome things in my life (like push out 4 babies sans drugs and tell people how to do CPR over the phone) so why the hell was I telling myself I wasn't a runner? I downloaded a couch to 5 podcast and bought some kicks and 8 months later I ran my first half marathon.
    This blog is a fabulous kick in the ass for me-I have had a string of injuries and I could have decided that I am too old to run, but instead I shut up and did yoga and got intimate with the eliptical at the gym. Just did my first run in 5 months last week on a dreadmill at the gym. Felt great and I will continue to SUAR!

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  36. Seriously looking forward to 2012 posts .... can they get even more personal ??? ha!

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  37. Great post! It goes along with the saying that right now there is someone busier than you is training for an ironman. The one thing that we are all given equally is time. It is how we spend it that is up to us!

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  38. Seriously your best post Ever

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  39. Seriously your best post Ever

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  40. For the things on my "to do" list that aren't getting done, the real reason is that I still have to work to understand that things don't just get done themselves anymore. I'm making up ground, but not quite there yet.

    And I do love the phrase "Just do it." While I'm not as much a fan of Nike (your shoes have never fit me), they have one of the best tag lines!

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  41. So glad I found your blog via a Twitter referral. I love the meaning of your title and have heard so many people make those same statements.
    I have probably used every excuse in the book in the PAST.

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  42. I remember being worried about the whole pee thing. I got over it. I wear moisture-wicking black running pants or black shorts and pee away. Now, 6 years, 4 marathons, and 3 half marathons later, not a single person has ever pointed and laughed at me and said "hey look everybody, Elizabeth pee'd her pants." ... at least not ever to my face (I could care less if they do it behind my back). But if anyone ever said it to my face, then I would say, Shut Up and Stop Looking at My Crouch or SUSLMC. Maybe I should change my blog name to that. I think you and your blog are awesome and you are very inspiring.

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  43. "It hurts my hip." :( It's an excuse I really wish just didn't exist.

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  44. I finally get it - it really is a good blog. Bravo!

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  45. *standing up and clapping* YES!!!!!!!!!!

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  46. Love it!!! No excuses just get out there and do it. Thanks for being so inspiring Beth! Your humor and straight forwardness is what keeps bringing me back. Happy New Year!

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  47. love this post!!
    i have no excuse for not exercising because it has become part of who i am and it's sometimes the highlight of my day :)
    Happy New Years!!
    xoxo!

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  48. I so needed that post! Thank you!

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  49. Major excuse is wanting more information on injuries but I'm taking a course tomorrow on that so no more excuses. :) Run, run, run.

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  50. Best post ever.
    Where I work the "shut up" part is called an "ah-ha moment". The moment where you decide to shut up your excuses and do something is the ah-ha of life.

    My problem is that I always say "I'll do it tomorrow". So my excuse is that somehow tomorrow will be better. Why? So while I do get my fitness groove on often, I could do it more... and I know it. So, I guess I need to say SUADIT "Shut up and do it today!"

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  51. Broke my resolution already. Damn. ; )

    I love the name of your blog, and I shut up and ran today with snot coming out of my face. It was awesome.

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  52. Awesome post! I understood the SUAR the minute I saw your blog...b/c this is what I finally had to tell myself to keep on going when I sometimes really didn't want to. I've never regretted saying that to myself. :)

    My excuse for not being able to lose weight as quickly as I want is that I think the running will do all the weight loss for me...even tho I know full well I have to change how I eat as well. I'm getting there.

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  53. My coach's motto is
    'If you want to run, you run'
    I think it's really the same as yours - just different words.

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  54. The second I saw your blog I knew what you meant by SUAR - and I loved it and became an instant stalker (you had me at hello?)

    I am (we all are) surrounded by people who make excuses...My mom can't start walking to lose weight because she doesn't have time (but is on fing FB playing FarmVille or some shit) . My boyfriend complained he is getting fat as he eats an entire block of cheese and watches 10 hours of football...and my friends would love to go for a run with me...BUT they really have stuff to do...they ask me, "where do you find the time?"

    I think of the blind athletes I saw at my IM...the double amputees....the people who get up at 4 am so they can fit it in. And I think that if you want to do something, you just do it. You fit it in. You don't sit and complain about why you cant run or bike or whatever...you get off your ass and do it.

    Anyway, nice post Beth, loved it!

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  55. I prefer "putting my wings on to fly" Great Post!

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  56. "That's shut up and run".... it is so true.
    Anytime I am struggling to finish a run or keep going, I always remind myself there are people who can't run!
    Thanks for the constant inspiration!!

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  57. I read your blog often, but probably have never commented. Great post! I feel sorry for your peeing friend - physical therapy and/or surgery could definitely improve her life. That said, I love this post (though I always understood the title).

    I'm trying to loose weight, but am getting stuck with "it's going to be hard - giving up all that yummy food". I will just shut up and loose weight! Thanks for the kick in the pants!

    Happy New Year!

    be-amazing.net

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  58. And that's why we keep coming back here for more. Great post and great comments! Thank you for never holding back and reminding us that we are the ones who make our choices .... you rock.

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  59. Work full time? Check.
    Family? Two kids, Check.
    Run? Got a streak goin, Check.
    Back to running after a bout of pneumonia and asthma? Check.
    Get up at 4? Booooooo.... Nope to this one. Up at 5:30! I think it still counts!

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  60. Excellent post. Anyone who runs regularly has been confronted by friends, family, acquaintences or just somebody they ran into who gives them any and every excuse why they don't run. However, my biggest peeve is when those same people belittle running as being bad for your joints, legs, etc as reasoning for you to not RUN! ARGH!!

    My biggest excuse for not running BTW is cold. I know you northern & western runners will think I'm a wimp but I am also a Native Floridian. I do run when its cold but I don't especially enjoy doing so.

    Happy Running!!

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  61. My biggest excuse? Dental school. Because I should always be studying. But my backup excuses are lack of time (directly related to dental school and having kids), my injured IT band, and being too tired. I am darn good at excuses :)

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  62. What a great post. Just goes to show if you tell yourself you can do something you can!

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  63. My biggest excuse, no time, work, the girls, business trip ... oh sorry you said THE biggest excuse ... the most important one was I just could not get back to it after my injury ... for a while it was true ... then it was just an excuse even though I didn't want to admit it. This is my year though ... I am back ... I am SUARunning :)

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  64. Great post. I totally agree that you are in charge of your own life. I see so many people that won't work to make it better than where they are at and it's so frustrating. My husband had pretty shitty parents. He had as good a chance as any at having a pretty f'ed up adult life. But he was lucky to get involved with cross country in high school and have some positive influences in his life. I work and have two kids, and when I decided to start running, even though I hated it, I did it anyway. Now I am at the gym at 5 am every day so that my "me" time doesn't take away from the family time. It's just what it takes to get it done. People are mostly lazy though. There are plenty of things I am lazy about too, we all just have our things that we are willing to work a little harder at than others. Maybe I need to start a blog called "Shut Up and Clean my Kitchen" :)

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  65. I just started training for my first marathon, and I'm sooo stoked. I love your blog (:

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  66. I'm sick in the only excuse for not working out. And even though I should have waited an extra day (maybe?) I still went out and swam after I felt better. The 10 lbs of snot that I poured out of my nose told me I wasn't ready so I waited until the afternoon to run. It worked and I'm back.

    Everything in life should start with Shut Up...

    and Work
    and Cook
    and Scratch your privates
    and Fart in Public
    and Tell Your Neighbor To Cut His F'n Lawn
    and Do Something Scary

    I mean it should just be part of life.

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  67. You should make a video or audio clip with submissions of us readers saying shut up and run. It may make a good wake up ring tone for my cell phone.

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  68. Love this!! This is why I don't do New Year's resolutions. If you want to make a change, then freaking make the change.

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  69. As always Beth, GREAT post.

    I used to have a bazillion excuses before I found a coach... and now there's no reason to skip a workout. If it's on the schedule it's gonna get done, unless doing so would exacerbate an injury.

    Actually can't remember the old excuses anymore.

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  71. Indeed!

    I just finished The Long Run. I don't recall whether you read it already or not, but either way -- the sentiment is exactly the same. We can make excuses, or we can push ourselves to do what we say we're going to do. Fortunately for most of us, just shutting up and running means carving out 20 minutes or an hour to get out the door, not rebuilding our bodies after a horrible car accident... But either way, it won't happen if you sit there making excuses.

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  72. Yep I just need to shut up and do it. I just completed a New Years Double event on crutches. For me it was a 5k/Half Relay combo. It wasnt about time or competing it was about COMPLETING the 2 days. I did it and found that in doing it I, little old me, inspired others to keep going. I had a young girl at one of the pit stops ask me what inspired me to do a half marathon and I told her about a nephew that had died from chemo complications. Next year she wants to do at least the 5k. After this weekend I know I can do anything I put my mind to and for that I am grrateful to me. Now I just need to suck it up and get in that darn pool. My excuse??? Its too cold and I cant swim. So now I'll just shut and swim. Oh the reason I am on crutches is a bone cyst/stress fracture that occured while completing my last half marathon. That you for this blog. I needed it!!!

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  73. Perfect post for the new year! It was so easy to slack off over the holidays, and hard to get back into, but as they say on RLAM, "don't think, just do". Happy Near Year! Looking forward to another year of your hilarious posts!

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  74. dicks and donuts!!!! that would be amazing.

    love the mantra (also, sorry for comment-bombing, I'm in my reader for the first time in a week, did you miss me??)!

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  75. I absolutely LOVE this blog entry. I am one of those people who gets up at 4am and runs so that my running doesn't interfere with my family and my full time job and my coaching position. I completed marathon training getting up at all hours of the night/morning, 2:30am!, to get in 16, 18, 20 miles so that I could still do stuff with my family on the weekends. I have heard ALL those excuses from people and I get so upset at them because IT IS POSSIBLE! IT IS DO-ABLE! Thank you for writing this!

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  76. Awesome post. So motivating...make yourself and just do it!

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  77. I had the same excuses.... I don't have time, I work full-time, I have little kids, etc. For over a year now I get up at 4am and run on our treadmill we bought for that exact reason. Since that year, I have run 2 Half Marathons. :)

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  78. so cool,and so right! that's what got me going! I have yet to be like you though......

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