Streaking

A few of my friends are into streaking.

Jonelle streaked for 365 days – every day that she was 43 years old. Laurie started streaking nine months before her 50th birthday and is still going strong 500 days later. These amazing ladies and a handful of others committed to running at least one mile a day. Regardless of where they were or what was going on in their lives, they always carved out the ten minutes or so it took to lace up their sneakers and run a mile. Their run streaks continued through vacations, illnesses, holidays, busy days, and even those I-want-to-hide-under-a-blanket-until-its-time-to-go-to-bed kinds of days. They didn’t let anything ruin their streaks.

I haven’t started a run streak of my own, but I am intrigued by the idea. Everyone has ten minutes to run a mile, but so few people actually do it – let alone every day for months or even years. It takes a special kind of grit to streak for an extended period of time. And streaks often aren’t very glamorous and don’t get much attention, but a few have. Cal Ripken’s ironman streak and Ken Jennings’ Jeopardy streak might be two of the most famous in recent history. Extraordinary or more ordinary, private or famous, I envy streakers’ ability to focus on a single goal. The discipline and hard work it must have taken to achieve their records is something I would like to emulate in my life.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all of the things I hope to accomplish. There are so many books to read, places to go, people to visit, sit ups to do, clothes to wash, emails to respond to . . . The list is never-ending. Some items are clearly much more important than others, but when I’m facing piles of dirty laundry and a work deadline, the really important things too often get pushed aside. Would streaking encourage me to do a better job prioritizing?

Since becoming a mom, I have noticed that I’m already on the road to becoming more intentional about how I spend my time. Play ball with Asher or watch an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians? Read a book together or Facebook? Go for a stroll or reorganize my closet? Easy choices. I guess I’m mom streaking. But what sometimes gets forgotten is my health. This isn’t to say that all of the time I spend with my little boy doesn’t enrich my life in so many ways. Of course it does. But I still need to read books that are more intellectually stimulating than The Belly Button Book and work out without always pushing a stroller. The put on your own oxygen mask first so you are able to help those around you cliché is true. On the days that I don’t make time to take care of myself, it’s impossible for me to give Asher and everyone else around me the love and attention they deserve.

Now that I think about it, Body Back has been a workout/eat right streak for me. I have been streaking and I didn’t even realize it! I have worked toward my mind, body, and nutrition goals every single day. Abby and the other Body Back women have held me accountable and encouraged me to meditate, focus on positive self-talk, workout at least five days a week, drink tons of water, eat nutritious foods, and balance my protein, carb, and fat intake. I don’t think I’ve had a healthier six weeks in my life. And now that I’m healthier, I’m happier – and so is the rest of my family.

The end of Body Back is in sight, though, so I am wondering how I will continue this healthy streak. Should I commit to running at least a mile a day like Jonelle and Laurie? What about eating a healthy breakfast every morning? Or perhaps I should dedicate a specific amount of time to my reading? So many possibilities! What I do know is that it doesn’t work for me to try not to do something every day. I have failed to quit Diet Coke about 783 times. I’ve gone months at a time without it, but the temptation to have something that I’ve told myself I can’t always wins out. So, I know that I need pick a positive streak – something specific that I will do every day. It’s also important to me to remember that all streaks come to an end. Sometimes I let perfection get in the way of good, and I don’t want that to happen. Eventually, you will run for the 365th day or play your 2,632nd game or win your 74th match and you are done for a while. And that’s ok. The investment has been made and your life is undoubtedly transformed because of the experience.

During the next two weeks I will decide what my next streak will be. Do you want to join me? Are you ready to change your life? Share in the comments one thing you will commit to doing every day (until you decide it’s time to stop) and let’s get streaking!