The Red Dress Club: Sloth

My sneakers pound cement. My pace is slow, rhythmic.

I soak in the morning air, willing its crispness to wake me. It breathes over my face, my arms, my chest. Cool. Soothing. Encouraging.

Leaves rustle. Gravel presses. Sparse headlights shine their reminder: The sun is just now rising.

I push forward.

I’m teaching myself to run. To tug myself out of bed while my family is silent and peaceful, asleep and content.

My desires are simple. Body. Health. Strength. Success.

But there’s more.

When I thought about running, I wavered. I let the layer beneath -the scared, worried one- shine through, What if it’s too hard? I asked.

One step at a time, Jason reassured.

In that same heartbeat my daughter’s seven year old voice advised, You can try it. And if it’s hard, you can quit.

My heart skipped, How did this happen?

My stomach lurched, It was me.

My eyes teared, This is not the message that a young girl needs.

For me and for her, I had to go for it. Push hard. And then push harder.

So I do.

At five in the morning my coffee brews and calls me out of bed. Once downstairs, I veer yet again. I’m drawn to my oversized green chair, sheer yellow blanket and the warm glow of my screen.

But I stride past ease, slam the door behind me, and leave the familiar behind.

I run. I strain. It’s hard.

Muscles burn.

Clothes annoy.

Sweat pours.

Comfort calls.

And that’s when I turn to my inner thoughts.

Unsharable. Unshakable. I tiptoe away from gumption and dance towards sloth-ing.

I need to be healthy. I know, and I ignore.

I want to feel comfortable in my skin, love my body. I know, and I disregard.

My children need to see me try and succeed. I know, and I don’t care.

Mid-run, I slow. Walk. Concede.

I force these thoughts away one sneaker-press-to-cement at a time.

The next slow song, large hill, calf burn could draw them right back to the surface. Ugly. Menacing. Urging me to turn around, head home, quit.

On this day I do finish my run. The effort is coerced. My breathing is hard. My forehead is slick. Taking my armband off, I step inside. Coffee envelops, sleep calls. Writing can wait.


I wake to Jason coming downstairs. Rested. Sleek. Ready for the day. His eyes are wide. Mine are not.

You did it, he supports.

I’m so tired. I can’t, I push away.

As he draws me in, Chloe is suddenly between us. My early riser, still soft with sleep.

Tousled hair.

Rosy cheeks.

Half-moon eyes.

She slips one hand into mine, leans into me and asks, Did you go running today, Mama? Good for you!

Little smile, little win. Big heart, big push.

Red Writing Hood is a writing meme. This week’s assignment is to write about sloth. “Emotional or spiritual apathy; Not doing what we think we should.” Constructive criticism is welcome.

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  1. Nicely said! What a beautiful, inspirational post.

  2. HI Girl!!
    Been in MIA for awhile. Short story long? Life has held a bit too much “life” lately. Hopeful that times are a changin’ and I can be back around more.
    Until then ……keep running! Am so proud of you and can relate to this 100%! I started running a year and a half ago….have done two 5K’s and a !0Mile race….know all about the wonderful benefits….and am STILL struggling to be consistent and run several times a week. It’s a battle no one else can fight for us. I”m losing the battle right now but I know I have the power to change that.
    My last blog entry was about my daughter asking me to go run with her….that pair of eyes looking up at me is powerful… well you know!
    So keep it up Galit! Even if you fall down (not literally….well, maybe) keep getting up and out there. You inspired me today so I thank you!!

  3. Oh sweet! And of course, it gets easier :-)

  4. Exercise is my nemesis. I hate it and avoid it. But this week, the scale shocked me with a # I haven’t seen before. I will remember your post and keep trying.

  5. I feel the same way about running. I hate it.

    I have had those moments with my girls too, its the hardest thing for them to think its ok to quit. I never want them to think that.

    I the wise words of Dory (from Nemo, and these are really her words) Just keep running Just keep running. :)

  6. I love the battle with sloth, and how as an entity was with you every step of the run. But the line that made me wince, the aspect of sloth that is really dangerous were in the lines,

    ‘You did it, he supports.

    I’m so tired. I can’t, I push away.”

    Because sloth is so insidious and will take so much if you let it.

  7. I love this. And you. And that you are running. Let’s text at 5am and kick our asses into gear.

  8. Well. You’ve almost inspired me to give running a try. I’ve always used my Asthma as an excuse, but I know I’d surprise myself if I actually tried.

    And I have other excuses too. All just excuses. Not real reasons…

  9. I love this! It’s almost identical to my battle with running, or in my case, lack thereof. I used to run, run, run. Now, urgh.

    Keep it up Galit! And I might get off my behind and give it a go too.

  10. You are a wonderful mother, I can tell. You expressed so well how hard starting is. I admire you for it. And you are right, what an important lesson this is for your daughter!

  11. My favorite part was this touching vision of the daughter.

    “As he draws me in, Chloe is suddenly between us. My early riser, still soft with sleep.

    Tousled hair.

    Rosy cheeks.

    Half-moon eyes.”

    I could feel the love in this. Stopping by from TRDC.

  12. Ahh… that’s great. The writing and the story.

    Something about having a daughter makes me take a hard look at so many of my decisions. Especially when it comes to self-image, being healthy, working hard and completing goals.

    • Krista! Yes, this. I feel so much responsibility to the girls. To not pass on my baggage, etc. I think I need more coffee to take all of that on, though! XO

  13. the words are wonderful as always, but it’s the FEELING that gave me that made me sigh deeply to go back and re-read it. TO feel all those things with you.

    “I know and I don’t care” , is how I feel a lot of the time, that knowing what to do is the first step, but it’s up to take the 2nd one, that one that pushes us out the door..whatever door that is.

    I loved this. :)

  14. I so feel this, Galit, especially when the alarm goes off at 5 and I really don’t want to leave my bed. It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s hard. But somehow I do it, just like you do it, and I never regret going. But the internal dialogue? Yep. I’ve got it, too.


  15. AWESOME!!! It is hard to get out of bed at that hour…that’s what time I go running too! But with each day it gets easier!! And then you won’t want to MISS a run!! Good for you!! :)

  16. I like this post a lot. I think most people can relate to the challenges of these exercise goals.

    I read somewhere once that if someone tells you they like running they are lying.

    I’ve been running for about two years and I do rather like it now. But it’s always, always still a challenge to start. It shocks me sometimes how difficult it still is to actually get myself out the door each time. But now I’m finally at the point where I’m fine once I get going.

    Running is my time to let my mind wander and think about whatever. Sometimes I can work out blog posts, sometimes I just zone out (which is a huge deal for me since my mind is usually racing). Running gives me peace now. But at the beginning, my thoughts were of the “holy crap this is hard and I’m going to die, why am I doing this to myself” variety. Those thoughts gradually went away with each successive attempt during which I did not die.

    I hope running gets easier for you. I had been thinking of skipping my workout today and this post gave me the little push I needed to “tug myself” out of my chair. Thanks!

  17. oh my, you took me somewhere i ahvent been for a while and you have no idea how timely and inspiring that was to read! the familiarity of every word reminded me of who i am once more! before my kids i was a 50mile a week plus runner! now i occassionally go out but not often, each pregnancy i gained 4 stone and i nearly got it all off and was running 30 miles a week then tillys shock diagnosis hit and i comfort ate for 2 and half years and then got pregnant again! oh boy!!! i want this as well!! i want all your words to be mine! i might just have to get on with it! x

  18. Good for you for pushing yourself to get up early and exercise. It’s hard but it’s worth it.

  19. Wonderfully done! I started running about five years ago and at first it was all about pushing past the “this sucks, my knees hurt, my sports bra isn’t working, how far have I gone” but eventually you find your rhythm. Keep it up!

  20. I really like how you formatted this post.
    The sense of determination is all over it!
    So glad you were able to rise above the “call of the sloth” today. =)

  21. I loved the part where your daughter tells you that if it’s too hard you can quit. I’ve had those moments when something pops out of my boys’ mouths and I think, “Where did they come up with that idiocy?” And then I have to go…Oh…that would be ME. #facepalm

  22. You’re a better woman than me for getting up early to run! I can’t get going that early unless doing a “race”.

    And I have MANY of the same thoughts while running. Glad to know I’m not the only one…

  23. This is exactly what I needed. I snoozed through my alarm clock all week, unmotivated to get out of bed to go run. 10 more minutes turned into an hour, and then everyone was getting up and it was too late.

    Thanks for the push. This was inspirational.

  24. Ah, you did it. I was right there with you. We say we don’t care. But we really do. We’re just sooooo tired. Nice job as always.

  25. You make me want to run, and sleep. Hm, maybe sleep wins.

    Great post!

  26. Galit, great post. I think it’s great that you are pushing yourself and making a great example for your girls. It’s not easy but so wonderful. So proud of you! xo

  27. I love this, of course. We all struggle to be the people we want for our children. It’s hard.

    Good for you for trying. That’s where the lesson for your kids is.

  28. I exercise nearly every day. And nearly every day I don’t want to do it. But the benefits push us along. And we experiment to find ways to fit it into our day in a way that sustains us or at least makes it easier for us. And we role model. Sometimes that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning, not my health, or the endorphin rush, but the importance of being the leader for my children.

  29. Love this (do I start all my comments to you like that? You have such a gift.)

    I’ve been running for years, and I still have that little voice in my head that tells me to quit. I can’t silence that little voice, but I can beat it down step by step and run by run, and that’s all I ask of myself.

    And so what if maybe you slow down and maybe you walk? It’s still more than not running at all; you’re still doing something good for your body and your head :)

  30. Awesome. High fives on the effort and the writing.

  31. Wow! Great writing. I could feel all the emotions and how hard it is.

  32. Tiffany says:

    This is great! I know this feeling so well, especially when it comes to running!

  33. I don’t remember where it was-your blog, a comment you left somewhere else-but I distinctly recall your fears and trepidations about going out to run once more. I am so proud of you for getting out there and pushing through the pain. You are a true inspiration. And teaching your children that they, too, can be as strong as their momma is invaluable and an achievement you should be immensely proud about.

    You GO, girl! Love you Galit.

  34. Being a fat girl (who was ALWAYS a skinny girl) I struggle with weight and body image issues all.the.time. I’m ashamed of my exterior, but rest on the “I’m pretty inside” just a little too much. 😉 Thus, I am lazy, resistant, and unmotivated.

    I have been in your shoes before. Up before I’m certain anyone else on the planet is, knowing I should feel such a reward for my efforts, but instead hating that it’s still dark, hating that my legs hurt, hating that I left a warm snuggly husband and warm snuggly wiener dogs in a warm snuggly bed, and hating that it will take a lifetime of these “up at dawn” moments to have the body I want and need. Dammit.

    I am proud of you. You are a million steps ahead of me, but I am motivated by this. Keep on keepin’ on, girl!

  35. I am literally walking out the door right now for a weekend trip out of town – I do not have time to formulate the response I’d like right now.

    So I will just say this for now:

    You did it.

  36. Way to go Galit! So proud of you! Coffee tastes better after a morning run! 😉

  37. How you turn forcing yourself through your run into something beautiful I will never understand. I will, however, appreciate it!

    And go you!

  38. It’s so hard, but you captured it beautifully. And sometimes it’s really wonderful to have our children there to push us away from our slothfulness, if only out of the desire to be a good example.

  39. How inspiring you are!
    I have never felt that “calling” to run but I feel it to walk.
    But starting back at it is still hard.
    Waking up earlier or taking time at night is still hard.
    I’m proud of you.
    So proud of you.

  40. Go, you! And how great that your cheerleaders are in your corner. I’m inspired. Really.

  41. This is so inspirational! I hate running. Mostly because my boobs bounce too much. And I always sweat. And my lungs burn. Oh and my legs scream.

    But this post made me think maybe I should try it again. :)

  42. Ohhh I loathe exercise, but I so need to do it.
    Good for you for doing it, for yourself! And how wonderful your daughter see that strength in you!

  43. Man I hate running, so really good for you. I love when our littles can teach us so much.