You Can’t Drive a Parked Car

Momentum is hard to come by sometimes. External circumstances, internal conflict, or a combination of the two often keep us in “park” when we should be “driving” in life.

I’ve been thinking about writing on this topic for some time. Mostly about writing and creativity. I’ve got about 60,000 words of a manuscript written. Yet I can’t seem to finish because I’m overwhelmed by its plot flaws. I’ve also got to get in shape and trim down after a year of pandemic carb therapy.

Seems the chief work I’ve been doing is sitting around lamenting about the things I’d like to do but haven’t. Lots of mileage to cover, but not much drive these days. Maybe you can relate? If not, at least it’s therapeutic to put these words to the page and see them in black and white.

You can’t drive a parked car after all.

And I should know, because my metaphorical car has been dormant for a while now. So, of course, a rash decision serves as a good antidote. I signed up for a virtual 5K today. The same one I never signed up for last year, despite good intentions.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it is for me. I am an overweight, injured runner. Back in late 2015, I got hurt and sidelined from my then-newfound love for running. You can read all about my injury and subsequent return to writing here.

After many months of treatment, my doctor cleared me to run again. He said I couldn’t do long distances anymore but could run a mile or two of intervals. Possibly even a 5K. But I didn’t follow through. I have run maybe three times in five years, opting to walk for exercise instead. Admittedly, not as frequently as I should.

Fear and “analysis paralysis” have been alive and well for me in the past year. Hence, the parked car of my life sits around with lots of potential and no power.

Potential that doesn’t translate into action is an inglorious waste. Miles not run, words not written, regrets collected and tucked into a mental filing cabinetโ€”none of these are good for a person. So I signed up for a 5K I’m not in shape to run.

I’m starting the ignition. Throwing this old junker into drive and chugging along the best I can. It beats revving my engine and looking out the window at the same old stationary scenery. Instead, I’ll run, write, and move forward. It’s time.

Are you ready to throw your life into drive too? Join me. Let’s hit the road together.

With Love and Gratitude,

Tracy is a New Jersey writer who loves Earl Grey tea, spending time outside, and painting. She lives with her husband and children in a home where birdsong and rainstorms provide the soundtrack for her creative life.


  • Renee Fusco

    Bravo Tracy! I was once a runner too, sidelined by minor injuries and now prefer walking – but don’t walk nearly as often as I should. I love the metaphor of the parked car and would love to provide any encouragement I can offer as you train for the virtual 5K. Maybe we could even walk or run together sometime….

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