Instant Gratification

I realized on my run this morning that I have a fundamental NEED for instant gratification.

In other words, I’m a glutton for punishment. While I absolutely loved training for my half marathon, and racing it will go down as one of the best experiences of my life, I’m having a hard time falling in love with long distance running.

Of course I love the end of a long run – the couple of miles when you know for a fact you are actually going to finish are quite fun. The lazing around for hours without feeling the slightest bit guilty is phenomenal, and let’s not forget the MASSIVE amounts of food.

earls-fig-briePost twelve mile run.

wafflesAnd the weekend after at Under the Highwheel

But the rest of it? Meh. If I (or most mere mortals) am going to 10+ miles, it should definitely feel easy for the first few. Personally, if I am tired at mile 3 of a 12 mile run, I don’t have a lot of hope for my success.

But what if I want to be tired at mile 3? What if the second I start running I want to feel that adrenaline coursing through my veins, feel my legs burning and flying simultaneously?

It’s greedy, I know. But I have realized that for something to feel worthwhile to me, I need INSTANT gratification. Not an hour later, or a day, or weeks/months. I need it NOW.


It’s not a great thing and it’s not something that I’m particularly proud of. I have said before that I had an extremely hard time caring about school near the end of the year because it just didn’t seem worth it. And the exams that I’m taking right now – I basically have to study my head off for weeks, endure three extremely stressful hours and then forget about them entirely for a month until I find out my results.

Not lovin’ it.

It’s not even just school/running! Has anyone else tried a new face cleanser, still had a zit the next day and then deemed it useless? Or read the first chapter of twenty books and then thrown them aside?

Or is that just me…awkward.


So what am I even saying? I’m not here to preach and say “That’s life, folks”. But if it’s in any way possible for me to not sound like a hypocrite, it kind of is. And the rewards of patiently waiting are usually a LOT better than the quick way out.

Case in point: I felt proud when I ran a 5k in under 23 minutes, 2+ minutes off my PR. But I felt like a freaking ROCKSTAR for a WEEK after running a half marathon.


Because the 3 months of patient training + 2 hours of steady running = a feeling I will never forget for the rest of my life.

At the end of the day: I need to be patient. I should go for a long run and stop obsessively checking if my marks have been updated (they haven’t).

Do you need/want instant gratification? How do you deal with it? 


2 thoughts on “Instant Gratification

  1. I think this could have been written by me. I definitely struggle with the need for instant gratification. I feel so down when I don’t see improvement immediately. I think part of it, from what I learned in psychology, is that we are teenagers, and our young minds are just wired this way! I don’t know what else we can do to change the way we think and the rewards we need.

  2. I am the exact same way when it comes to wanting to feel the gratification of finishing something instantly! I don’t think many of us aren’t haha ;). It’s hard to be patient, but the things that take the longest to accomplish usually are the most rewarding in the end!

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