I’ve come to realize that the first five minutes of doing anything sucks. Doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s something that I like, if it’s something that I dread, doesn’t matter. The first five minutes are always the worst.
There’s a simple reason for it. Breaking inertia is hard. Super hard. A body at rest wants to stay at rest. It’s true for rocks and train wheels and bodies lounging on couches. Where you are is generally where you want to stay. It takes a little force to get you moving.
And the first five minutes of that force is a real pain in the ass. I love running, but I hate the first five minutes of it. I have to huff and puff and talk myself into it. For five minutes, I battle all my doubts and laziness. I fight to replace all my noes and don’ts with yeses. And nine times out of ten, I win.
And that last one time? Well, I am human, after all. And even then, I’m five minutes from home and there’s only one way to get back.
But the beautiful thing about inertia is that is goes both ways. Things that rest want to rest. Things that go want to go. After those first five minutes are done, you’re doing it. Movement is on your side. It’s harder to stop than it is to continue. Some people call it flow. Some call it Alpha Waves. I guess I just watched too much Newton’s Apple as a kid, because I think of it as inertia.
But the meaning’s the same. Runners run. Writers write. Things like to go. And, as long as you can get past the first five minutes, so can you.