Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Doing Something Different, With Unexpected Results

This week, we're doing things differently. For me, this hasn't meant so much of a change in my behavior as it has a behavior in my thought process. You see, I've always hated running.

Still, two months ago, I started running with my husband. And I hated it, and sweated and whined and panicked my way through every single run, pretty sure I would absolutely die. Of course I didn't actually die, but that wasn't raising the fun factor.

I've been told that 5Ks are so much more fun than regular running -- so I figured in my case, that would translate to things being about a 5 on the suck scale instead of the usual 10. Thus, I signed up for the Neon Splash Dash with a group of friends.

And I dreaded it.

See how I'm regretting my decision here? Totally.
Here's the thing. I've always had this narrative about how much I hate running, and how much I am not a runner, but because of that silly 5K, I'm having to reevaluate how true - or useful - that narrative is for me.

We all know how this story ends -- I discovered that I might not actually hate running, I'm thinking about signing up for future 5Ks, and the whole experience was dramatically lower than a 5 on the suck scale -- maybe it even scored a point or two on the awesome scale. So yeah, breaking out of my normal beliefs is leading me to learn some pretty cool stuff about myself.

But what in the world does this all have to do with creativity? With making art?

Being a creative person isn't something that only happens in the studio -- your creative self is always there, even when you're not engaging it. Similarly, the parts of you that exist outside of your creative process are still present when you're making art, even if you don't notice them. And sometimes, this relationship between your creativity and everything else means that making a change in one sphere will affect the other.

That's absolutely what I've experienced with the whole running thing. No, I didn't come home from the 5K and start flinging paint at a canvas - but since I discovered I was actually able to do this one thing that I thought was utterly beyond me, I'm starting to suspect that maybe I can do some other things I've been avoiding -- like actually make some of the pieces that I've been holding in my brain, with the excuse that I don't have enough time.

I didn't think I was strong enough to run. What if my not having enough time to create is just another old outdated narrative?

This week's a good time to find out.

Pure, unadulterated enjoyment -- I mean, suffering. Uh huh.

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