This post is written by Doug Hay, co-host of NMA Radio and author of Rock Creek Runner.
“Self-discipline doesn’t actually exist.”
That’s what one of my blogging mentors (yes, that’s a thing) Jon Morrow said to me at a recent conference.
It’s a jarring statement considering we live in a world that talks about having or losing self-discipline all the time.
But after he finished the conversation, it all made sense. Jon’s point was this:
No one is born with self-discipline. Successful business people, professional runners, the President, they don’t have some self-discipline gene that the rest of us lack. And as we know, will-power is a finite commodity.
On one hand this is bad news. It means we can no longer rely on the “no self-discipline” excuse when it comes to running. Or doing or not doing anything else in life, for that matter.
But on the other hand, it’s great news.
Because it makes it possible for us to change. It means our failures as runners, our inconsistencies and lack of routine are only temporary. That we too can become the highly energized running routine superstars we’ve always wanted to be.
Consistent runners have fewer injuries, a stronger base, and greater long-term running success.
So if self-discipline isn’t a trait we either have or don’t, and a consistent routine is something we all want, what sets a successful runner apart from her discouraged counterpart?