Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it (Greg Anderson)

Deb Runs

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.
–Joseph Campbell

This quote really spoke to me. I am not a huge Joseph Campbell fan, and considering the dark books he wrote, I find it surprising that this quote is from him.

I am sure a lot of people will write about the joy of the season, the joy in their family, yadda yadda, and these are all good topics.

Not being Christian, I don’t really find December particularly joyous. The days are short and I just want to curl up in a ball and hibernate and am ready to fall asleep at 7 pm (and sometimes I do while we’re watching tv).

Not to mention all the back and forth with Chester is really wearing me out. It’s not just the sleep deprivation, it’s the back and forth between thinking it’s time, and then it’s not, but maybe it is . . . and so on.

So no, I won’t be writing about this joyous season.

Back to that quote. Running is hard; we all know that. Whether you run 20 minute miles or  7 minute miles, it’s hard. The non runner shakes his head and wonders why anyone would do that (in fact, I pretty much had that very conversation with my niece over the weekend).

Every runner, if they run long enough, also knows the joy of a race well run, the joy they feel after a hard workout, the joy they feel in tackling a new distance, the joy they feel in a crowd of runners waiting for a race to start.

That is, in fact, the secret to running (much like child birth, I imagine): the joy erases the pain (at least sometimes).

I have said to my husband, on more than one occasion, after a run or a race, that he doesn’t have to run; but I hope that he finds something that makes him feel like I do after a race.

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

And just change that quote to “physical effort” and you have another great quote for runners.

What is bringing you joy today?

21 thoughts on “Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it (Greg Anderson)

    1. I didn’t have a mileage goal for this year; mostly just a goal to finish uninjured & I did meet that so that makes me really happy.

      This time last year I was only back up to running a couple of miles at a time — I’ve been able to be much, much more consistent this year.

      I hope you get to your goal without inflaming your PF too much.


  1. I’m sorry you’re struggling. Even as a Christian this time of year can be hard when reality clashes with the fantasy. I think of you and Chester every day, because I remember how hard it was when my beagle was in her last days. (((hugs)))

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We are going to have a Jewish Christmas this year because I found a Chinese restaurant that is open. I haven’t done that in ages.
    I’m sorry about Chester. I do think about you all. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Jewish Christmas” — too funny!

      We just got Chinese last weekend and Lloyd always orders way too much, so I don’t think we’ll do it again on Christmas.We’ll probably go out sometimes during the weekend.


  3. I am Jewish but I’ve always loved the festiveness of Christmas. My joy does come from crossing the finish line (I am not usually happy while I am running.)

    Today I feel JOY because I have a hair appt (that’s always makes me feel good) and it is my last day of work – 11 days off!!!!! Woo Hoo!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think we expect to receive joy in a lot of situations or activities. So, it’s always a treat to find it in simple unexpected places and things. Last year, my husband surprised me with my favorite Christmas song (it couldn’t be downloaded). My heart goes out to you and Chester.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think the other thing that running shares with childbirth is when it’s over, you forget the worst parts and recall the better ones.

    I will be thinking of you and Chester. That’s so very hard. I know that either way he knows how much you care about him.

    And finally, I saw a great one of those eCards yesterday: “The best way to avoid all this Christmas stress is to be Jewish.” I don’t know your faith, but I thought this was a winner.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love what you wrote about your wish for your husband. That has been my wish for mine for a long time, too.

    2015 started out slowly for me, and I did not anticipate training for a half marathon. Despite its hardship and the physical toll it took on my, it surely brought me joy. I did not initially had a yearly mileage goal as January debuted, but with the training I saw I was going to be close to last year’s miles so I upped it just a tad, from 376.something to 400. Not a huge increase, not a huge number, but big for me. Especially since my goal for 2014 at first was 200. Joyous. Yes.

    The biggest joy of all is all the faraway friends I made when I began my running f/b page, now deleted. Many, such as you, have remained friends.

    Love. Joy. Peace. To you always.


  7. I am sorry you don’t enjoy this time of year. I don’t actually love holidays that much, it is the break from work I cherish! This is my only break for the year (other than vacation time I burn).
    I find that race feeling very addictive! My races gave me a lot of joy last year and I hope to have more of those experiences in 2016.
    I hope Chester can hang in there with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, it’s not completely true that I don’t enjoy this time of year; there are always things to enjoy & I really do believe that happiness is a choice.

      But I don’t enjoy cold, lack of sunshine. I don’t work, so there’s really no break from my daily routine, and when I did work, it was from home so again, no breaks.

      And I shouldn’t complain, of course, because I don’t work!

      Still, my husband has this week off, which actually just sort of increases the chores, but I must say he has stepped up and been very helpful, too.


  8. You are exactly right, if joy didn’t erase the pain, we’d never run a second race or have more than one child! 🙂

    Sorry to hear you’re having a blah month. Sending virtual hugs your (and Chester’s) way.

    Thanks for linking up, Judy!


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