There are those days, those days when simply being alive is exhausting. Where you find yourself having a serious internal debate about expending the energy to brush your teeth, let alone doing anything physically active. Yes, it’s one of those days where a movie marathon on the couch seems like the best idea of your life and getting out of your pajamas is but a fleeting thought.

As someone whose profession required maintaining a high level of physical fitness, days like these are particularly difficult. Pushing through pain, discomfort, illness, and laziness have all been my supplementary job requirements so skipping a workout because, “I don’t feel like it”, is akin to peeing my pants because I decided the bathroom was too far away.

Hard work helps you sleep better.

Yes, a career centered around physicality and enduring hardships molds your daily habits and eventually turns them into rituals which must be adhered to so as to keep your head from exploding. This mentality is like an intangible firefighter disease that sticks with you, even long after you walk off the fireline.

Due to this incurable illness, I almost always convince myself to exercise on days where I feel lethargic by making a compromise with my inner-dialogue.

I opt for a donkey run.

What’s that you wonder?

It’s when I set out for a run and let my body go as slow and awkwardly as it wants. I won’t try to push harder, go faster, take hilly routes, or go for distance I will just simply crank the music loud and put one foot in front of the other until my body feels like stopping.

Why do I call it a donkey run? Because I feel as obstinate as a donkey on days like this; I don’t want to do anything.


The victory is in feeling __________ and doing it anyway.


The triumph is in wanting to __________ but doing it anyway.


That’s not to say that one shouldn’t have down days filled with pajama wearing and movie marathons (call me, I’ll stop off and grab the ice cream on my way over!) but there is something to be said for learning how to make a compromise with yourself rather than succumbing to one or the other and being mentally miserable with either option.

As much as I loathe having donkey run days I feel completely off my axis when I don’t exercise, exert myself, or at least get some fresh air every day and I know that about myself, which is ultimately the point here.

Know yourself and recognize what you need versus what you want, because often times they aren’t the same thing.