It Is What It Is

It Is What It Is


There are many reasons why I like running.

The act of running itself is rarely the reason I like running. It’s more about the people in the running community that motivate me to continue. They are not scared to set goals. Make a goal and take the next step towards it.

There’s a phrase I hear outside of running that drives me a bit crazy:

“It is what it is.”

I can remember the first time in my corporate career that I heard this phrase. We were in the middle of a conversation trying to solve a problem and convince others of how to move forward. At one point, the boss said “well, it is what it is.” Then everyone said okay and the meeting was over.

What the hell? I looked around and said “ummm but we didn’t solve the problem?”

“Well, it is what it is.”

So let me translate … it’s too hard? Giving up? No solution?

It’s one of those phrases that feels like promoting laziness. Basically it’s too hard to think about so walking away makes it easier. Brain will find the easiest path forward, so it is what it is.

So knowing the meaning behind the phrase, I have started using it in situations. Like in this past 50 mile race through the desert, when I was coming down the mountain and my knee blew out, I looked down at my knee and said “it is what it is.” Then I laughed. And moved forward.

I have also found that the phrase can be used to take a break from a challenging situation or problem. The key is to recognize what you are actually saying and mean. Sometimes being more direct helps.

There’s a hard mountain 50 mile race I’m doing in a month. Do I have enough time to train for it? Will it hurt? Probably not.

It is what it is.

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