Not being able to work out is hard.

Being sick is hard work. But if the nose-blowing, eye wiping, snot dripping, hot tea drinking (all day long), Sudafed-taking lifestyle isn’t hard enough, for a chronic health nut, it can be even more challenging. And for more than one reason.

Not being able to work out is hard. 

I mentioned a book I recently completed, The Power of Habit, earlier last week. The book itself is quite simply about how people form habits — why they form and how to change them. Note, there really isn’t a way to break a habit, but you certainly can change them by understanding what sets you off (i.e. the cue) and what makes you come back for more (i.e. the reward).

When sick, obviously, working out is a no-go. But no matter how terrible I feel, and no matter how ludicrous the idea of getting into nylon and sneakers and heading out into the cold winter air sounds, I will always have that little sense of burning desire lurking in the back of my habit-driven mind. I’ve developed the cues and rewards. After seven years, there’s no way around them. I miss these mornings like woah.


This is the longest stretch  I’ve gone in a while without lifting a finger — since last Saturday, to be precise.

On Friday, I had a lovely run in the cold. There were flurries around me. I veered off path at times to take in new views and new paths on what was otherwise generally the same old morning run. That I came home like this probably didn’t help.


By Saturday morning, I knew something was wrong. But my close friend from childhood was getting engaged and neither rain, snow, or sore throat was going to stand in my way of celebrating with her in person on the night it all went down.

So, I traveled to New York.

I drank too many margaritas, champagne and beer.

I slept on an air mattress.

And I woke up with the feeling that I was swallowing glass.

I made my way back to Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon and was sick until pretty much yesterday – Thursday.


Finally, after days of drugs (the good kinds, people), sinus headaches, terrible throat issues, scratchy ears, and at times, coughing fits that felt like they would never end..


…I feel almost back to myself.

I even woke up on Friday with the desire to run.

Of course, though, it’s 15 degrees this morning.

Not cool, Mother Nature. (Or so cool, she’s positively frigid?)

Anyway, I can muster a cold run like a champion, but not on my first morning back from a raging sinus infection that kept me out for six whole days.

Fortunately, on mornings like this, the yoga mat and another very important Matt in my life (Lauer – duh) beckons. Truthfully, I’m just happy to be able to move and break a sweat once again. Even if it’s a very small, restorative sweat.

There will be more runs. Maybe tomorrow.

Scenes from a Snowy Schuylkill Run

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately (shocking, I know) about why I run. This philosophical outlook is a natural response to a book I’m currently reading. It’s called The Power of Habit, and it was recommended to me by a new colleague of mine. I can already tell that I will be piggybacking off her taste in literature for months to come.

Anyway, this idea of running becoming a habit after seven years is sticking. It’s all I think about these days — when I open my eyes, as I’m stepping into my sneakers, and even as I take those first few steps out the front door.

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Do I love to run because I love to run, or is it simply a habit these days? Are they two different things? Can a habit become passion, or vice versa?

Just a few things I’ve been contemplating. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few snapshots from a snowy run I took yesterday morning. Would most mortals be down for a little slip and slide workout? I’m not sure. But I literally couldn’t not run. Maybe it’s because I love the snow. Or maybe it was just habit.

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What do you think? Do you have to force yourself to workout, or do you love it? Are we passionate about fitness, or is it just habit?