Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Making It" One Mile at a Time

If something is important to you, you will find a way to make time for it. 
If it isn’t, you’ll find a way to make excuses.

This morning I did something to break out of a nasty little habit I’ve developed in the last 2… okay, 3 weeks.  I actually got my lazy butt out of bed to go for a run before work.  I’ve been giving myself excuse after excuse recently when it comes to working out: 

“I’m insanely busy with work all the time.  It’s just too hard to get a run in.”
“I ran a half marathon earlier this month, I’m in great shape.”
“I had commercial class until 11:30 last night, I deserve to sleep in.”
“I’ll wait until my Thanksgiving food baby subsides, then I won’t feel as sluggish.”
And the most honest of them all… “I just don’t want to right now.  My bed is too freaking comfy.”

But guess what?  All those excuses mean I’m not making any movement towards the fitness goals I’ve set for myself.  Nope, those excuses are actually moving me further away from those goals.  And because my chosen profession is directly tied to my image, it also means those excuses are moving me away from my career goals. 

Now, we’ll save the scathing entry about Hollywood (and the world’s) unrealistic expectations for beauty and perfection for a later day, but we have to acknowledge that image and physique are part of this job.  So making the time to work out is part of this job. 

So this morning, as I was about to hit snooze yet again, I decided I would get up and run one mile for my career.  Nothing big, just one mile.  Just ten minutes.  But it was one mile more than I ran yesterday when I planned to run 5.  One mile more than the morning before that when I planned to run 5.  And if I get up tomorrow and run one mile and do it every day this week, I’ll have run 7 miles more than I did last week.  And the week before that when I planned to run 20, but ran zero. 

I believe that’s the answer to being one of the lucky smart ones who actually “makes it” as a successful actor.  Everyone deals with the ups and downs of this grind.  Some days you’re so motivated, you can get up and run a marathon.  Some days you just feel like hitting the snooze button five times.  But from now on, every day I feel tired or frustrated or barely hanging on to this dream, I’m just going to “run” one mile.  Do one tiny thing for my career instead of nothing.  Send one postcard, attend one seminar, read one chapter in a book on technique, take five seconds to send one email to an industry contact to stay in touch…

I bet all those days of little one-milers will add up to quite a distance over the course of a year.  A distance that would have been zero.  Or even worse, like sliding back in the wrong direction.

I’d rather keep this career moving forward every day, even if it’s one mile at a time.

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