In a valiant effort to drop some weight gained during five months of quarantine, I’ve been running a lot lately.
Though running isn’t really new to me, once you haven’t been on one in over six months, things feel very new.
A run is divided into three segments: a beginning, a middle and an end. And just like the run is divided into segments, so is my fitness journey.
So, I’m in the beginning of that journey right now — and it’s really hard. I want to give up every day. I can’t make it even remotely close to my previous mile times, and I just feel gross overall.
During a run: the beginning is where you hype yourself up.
Soon I’ll be in the journey's middle. I’ll be back to quicker miles and more endurance throughout the run. Heck, I might even start feeling less gross. The important part — and the part I look forward to the most — is giving myself a little break and patting myself on the back for the work. But that’s not the end.
During a run: the middle is where you keep your endurance and strides as consistent as possible; you give yourself a smidge of a break.
And then the end will come — as rapidly as it started.
I’ll be hitting new fitness goals, feeling incredible about myself and wondering how I ever was where I was before (metaphorically and literally — I get lost sometimes.) But, I still have to hype myself up, because new challenges are ahead, and the endless loop between beginning, middle and end is about to restart. I’m happy, carefree and motivated for the next challenge.
During a run: The end is where you finish up, head into a cool down and bend over in relief as you exhale all of the hot air from your body.
I hope y’all see the parallel at this point.
As we finish out the first week of classes, we have just finished out the first of many cycles of our “run” and “fitness journey.” We got ourselves hyped up on Monday to get through the rest of the week. We set the tone as impenetrable and stable. On Wednesday, we felt the drag. We patted ourselves on the back for just a little bit, and we looked ahead at the end. It may have been hard, and we may not have been the happiest during it — but we were focused on the dream. Then, on Friday, we hit the end. We felt incredible and alive. We know there’s a weekend full of reading and assignments ahead, but we’re so excited just to have an evening off, that nothing can break our spirit.
And then, it repeats.
Hype up. Pat on the back. Feel the bliss of the end.
Just like a run, whether one that’s around the block or one to class, this Office DJ recognizes the segments that make the activity up.
Your eclectic mix of songs that’ll both hype you up for the week. Whether you need to be told you can “Go the Distance” or you want to set the tone of a “Glorious” week, I’ve got you covered.
Missing home? “Stressed Out?” Tired of school? Just want to say “Hey Mama” and grab a snack like it's the end of an elementary school day? It’s OK. You can cry. You can be happy. You can be bittersweet. All are welcome in the middle. But this playlist will make you glad you’re “Here.”
Ready to throw your hands up in the air like it’s “Dynamite?” Me too. It’s the end of the run. “Please Don’t Stop the Music,” though, because “The Night is Still Young.” And yes. I “Say So.”
Good luck UNC.
Brandon Standley is the editorial managing editor of The Daily Tar Heel. He is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying public relations and psychology.
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