The carrot is walking. Or rather, “walking” is the carrot. The carrot with which I lure myself out of bed early in the morning to go dub-dub. (That’s Amharic for “jogging”, presumably because that’s the sound Ethiopian bodies make when they hit the trail.)
In order to get up, I promise myself that I don’t have to dub-dub at all, if I just get my ass out of bed. If I just get up, all I have to do today is shir-shir. (Yes, you guessed it. That’s the sound Ethiopian bodies make when they’re merely walking, hopefully at a brisk pace, yes even at 7am.)
It’s a lie. I know she’s lying. My better self. She’s the one doing all the promising and bargaining by the way. The hare spirit to my turtle body. The self that already knows how good it will feel later when I’m done dub-dub and sometimes even before I’m done, like when I’m only 65% of the way through and suddenly something clicks and all things seem possible and the world seems all right – that self is already up. She woke up on the first alarm. She didn’t need the backup second and third alarms (fun fact: you can outsleep the iPhone alarm after 15 minutes, especially if you set it to soothing chimes).
Yeah so future me, she is up, she’s dressed, she’s hydrated, she’s stretched. But being a figment of my mind she can’t actually do the doing for me. So she sits on the edge of my bed, saying “Here Little Turtle, heeere Little Turtle, come on now Little Turtle, you can just walk it today, no dub-dub, promise, just shir-shir. Get up Little Turtle, no harm in a little morning walk, right? We’ll leave your heart rate alone today. Etc etc.
So she dangles the “only walking today” carrot long enough (unlike the alarm she has no 15min timeout) and finally coaxes Little Turtle (moi) into getting up, dressed, stretched and hydrated, getting more and more awake each minute, but making her swear and promise on our lives that today it’s ONLY shir-shir, even while knowing that by the time that morning air hits my face (ok, morning-ish…we did outsleep alarm 1 and backup alarms 2 and 3) I will have forgotten all about the carrot and find myself dub-dub-ing before I realize it.
Why? Why all this when shir-shir offers so much room for surprises? (Like for example catching someone with a cat on a leash, crouching in the bushes off the beaten trail. Yes that happened.)
Because having ultra-hyped random jogger guy coming the opposite way in the rain yelling “NO DAYS OFF! WHOO! YEAH NO DAYS OFF!” makes for a far better story.
If I pass him again I’m recording him for my alarm ringtone.
But if you want to hear about the cat on a leash in the bushes, let me know.
Also let me know what necessary lies get you out of bed 3 mornings/week.