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Today I run

Today, after sunset, I started to run, again. It’s been almost 5 years since the last time I’d run. Surprisingly, I could run for 3 rounds of Tao Dan Park’s run path, non-stop. If it wasn’t for my wife calling me back to have dinner with her sister’s family, I thought I could run a little bit more. Walking to work daily for the last 3 years might be the reason behind this unexpected event. I felt refreshed, I should have started doing this 2 years ago when my baby girl began her school life. In fact, I even bought a pair of running shoes before she was born, and luckily it’s still intact for today’s run.

I used to have big plans for everything I’ve done. They’re not real plans, but something that I thought I could achieve. Whenever I finished the first few steps or did the preparation, I always felt that I had already gone through the work and eventually stop doing it completely. So things were always big at first, then disappeared. Like this blog, I used to do the design and coding myself, tried to implement all the fancy up-to-date stuff: CSS framework, parallax, animation, practicing code for scaling, etc… I thought that when I finished all these, I could just focus on writing the content. I spent weeks polishing the interface, updating everything to the latest version, then actually wrote a few lines of text, mostly promising that I would blog more often, and after that.. nothing, there was no “after that” at all. It was no different with running, I started doing it with a clear goal in my mind, to be stronger, healthier, and capable of participating in a real marathon one day. I’d been following a program designed by a fitness app for a couple of days, thinking about the day I could run 10km non-stop. I was optimistically looking far ahead into the future, and gradually, it somehow made me feel demotivated. I felt no drive to make the effort to follow the program anymore and eventually stop running altogether.

I didn’t recognize that as a problem at all, I eased myself with good reason of “not having enough time”, until the day I found a solution. Instead of starting big, I start small, really really small. That day, I decided to learn how to code with Swift and make my own game. The game is pretty simple: player taps on the shuffled tiles of the board like a chessboard, with numbers in them from 1 to 81, and compares the time it takes to complete all 81 tiles with players around the world. During the development, ideas came up like a flood, overwhelmed my brain, lift my excitement up to the roof. But this time, I decided not to plan anything, no note, no writing down, I pick the most interesting idea in my head and tackled it, finished it and moved on to another one, little by little. I was very happy that it worked. I’ve been developing the game for 2 years now, it’s on the Appstore, you can get it here. And now everything I do, I always want to start small, achieve something small and keep repeating that down the road.

So this time, when I start to run again, I’m not planning for any goal ahead. I just aim to start and finish the run one day at a time. And yeah, I feel so good.

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