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I mentioned a while ago how my company was instituting a wellness program which advised the smokers to quit smoking or pay up. The program basically makes smokers responsible for paying 20% of their health care insurance costs (we non-smoking employees don’t pay anything towards our health insurance. All we pay are co-pays for doctor visits, etc.). The announcement coincided with the New Year’s Resolution season, and many smokers decided to quit as they couldn’t afford to pay that 20%, especially those with children and spouses on their insurances as well as themselves.

Fast forward to today (I believe it’s over a year later, but who knows?). I am walking past two non-compliant smokers having a conversation about knowing they could quit when they are ready, but they have to be ready. It reminded me of how defiant some of them were when the wellness program rolled out the quit smoking initiative. It also reminded me of others I know who dig their feet in on principle. They know something is what they should do or will eventually have to do, but they aren’t doing it because they don’t yet want to, or because you are trying to force them to (and yes, I’m talking about me).

If I could get away with not meeting obligations or doing things like growing up just because I wasn’t ready, I’d be in bliss. There are some things you are never ready for. I can’t speak for you, but of few of those things for me are:

  • death,
  • getting married
  • growing a baby
  • giving birth to a baby
  • spontaneous/unasked for change,
  • working out,
  • taking a picture,
  • going out to meet new people,
  • being naked in front of anyone,
  • when they rip the wax strip off of any body part,
  • anything proceeded by “this may hurt a bit,” “you’re going to feel a little pinch,” or “1, 2, 3”,
  • paying the check for anything,
  • tests,
  • running into someone while out and about,
  • the last bite of pasta alfredo or my modified “That’s How I Roll” ice cream from Coldstone,
  • giving up soda,
  • going for a run,
  • getting up in the morning,
  • speaking in public,
  • losing friendships,
  • paying bills,
  • employee evaluations
  •  and breaking up.

Here’s the thing, though; there have been a bunch of things I thought I wasn’t reading for that I not only did, but did well:

  • The ACT: 35 on the English (highest was a 36; is that still the case), in the 99 percentile!
  • Living in a dorm before I started ninth grade: I stayed the whole summer; my roommate went home day three.
  • Giving up caffeine: I survived the withdrawal headaches (twice!) and finally kicked caffeine back to the bus!
  • Dating
  • Giving up soda (since relapsed, but plan to kick again, forever
  • Getting through Body Attack & Spin classes (true, I never went back, but I DID finish both classes).
  • Doing my taxes
  • Getting a “real” job
  • pledging a sorority
  • going back to college

My point is, then, there are always going to be things I don’t feel ready to do that I’m just going to have to step out on faith and do anyway. There are some things you’ll never be ready for, but that doesn’t mean you should never do them. This year, I’ve been doing a lot of scary things, stepping out on faith and giving running another shot is among them. Building a futon, with my less than stellar small motor skills, slight OCD, inability to delegate, and easily frustrated when it comes to putting something together ways, was another. I plan to keep this trend going: finishing my first book length works, switching to a self-hosted blog, running my first all running mile. It’s a year to start NOW.

My advice, should anyone want it, is not to wait until you are ready to do it (unless it is going back to a sport/activity after an injury, or performing a death defying stunt or something); do it when you’re supposed to do it. It’s so much easier to start doing it when you want to than when you have to, or to discover you waited to late and now you can’t do it.

Today, I can’t run. I have no running shoes, and I’m not sure my feet, ankles, etc. are a hundred percent. What I can do (and will do) is go to the gym and get my cross train on. I will try out the stretches I saw in Runner’s World that were suggested for pre and/or post run. I will rock out to some great tunes and focus more on correct form than numbers (although I’ll give those a little peek as well ;-)). I will ice when I get home (:-() then take a hot bath so I can be rock star ready for Reception tomorrow (hello, alliteration; it’s been a while. How are you?)

What did you think you weren’t ready for, but in the end you conquered/punched in the face/beat back to the bus? What are you still not ready for? Why don’t you just do it already?