Why do you run?
Everyone’s answer to this is different depending on when they started running, their goals and well yes their results! For some it’s about the bling, the medals, the weight loss, the escape from the rest of their day and so many other things.
For me, it’s consistently boiled down to one word: PRIDE.Sounds ridiculous on some level, but I’m so freaking proud of myself every time I finish a run.
15 years in to it, running is still not easy for me. I’ve had my share of obstacles with health, lots of travel, cross country moves, but it hasn’t stopped me…it’s made me stronger and more convinced that running is a necessary part of my life.
14 Life Lessons Running Teaches
I wanted to reflect on the ways running has truly made my life richer like a finely roasted coffee. I don’t drink coffee, so I’m basing that on everything you my friends post daily on social media about needing it in your life.1. It’s Not an Addiction. It’s a Passion.
One is harmful and the other enriching.
Maybe I’m touchy about the word addiction, but it really is different and I think it’s important to know if your fitness crosses that line.
2. Progress is Not Linear
I haven’t PR’ed at every single race. In fact, it’s often a great one followed by a horrific race and then some just for fun before I find my body ready to hit the next level.
3. Habits are Good and Bad
Habit is what gets you out of bed at 5AM on a Saturday to get in a long run. You do it week after week and suddenly it’s no big deal. Habit is what has you reaching in the office candy bowl at 3PM whether you’re craving sugar or not.
Read more on creating the right habits >>
4. All Those Miles Make you Want to Be Healthier
I was always fit, but for me running was truly the key to unlocking my lose the baby fat mode. It taught me how to be a fat burning machine AND how to feed my body because I wanted to feel better running. It also just made me want to be more active and do things like hike with friends rather than eat.
Read more about my weight loss story >>
5. Running Can Help Confidence Regardless of Weight Loss
Even if running never helped me to lose a single pound, I’d feel like a more beautiful confident version of myself. It taught me to love my body for it’s strength, for what it can do over what it looks like.
6. “I have the Black Lung”
Thanks Zoolander for that statement which will never leave me. But has come to be my reminder that so much of what we think is wrong is in our heads!
After many of my long runs, I find myself with a little cough and of course WebMD would say I’m dying, but really during long runs in the winter your lungs become dry and if you have any form of ashtma you can end up with a cough later in the day as your lungs try to recover from the lack of moisture…or something like that I’m no doctor.
No biggie! Now I remember that with every little niggle. It doesn’t mean something major is wrong.
7. Sometimes the Little Things Matter
On the flip side, there are a lot of little things that actually do matter.
Spending a few minutes every day doing some hip exercises keeps my IT Band happy.
Hugging and kissing my husband when he walks in, starts our evening on the right foot.
Mailing a card for no reason, reminds friends that I care….little things, big results.Funny card from Zazzle
8. You Can Always Do Better
I think this might be my childhood family motto.
It’s also likely the reason I am so drawn to running. There really is no finish line. You can enjoy where you are, while looking to what’s next. A new distance, a new PR, a new race, a new job, a new friend.
It’s OK to want to improve your life.
9. 1st Isn’t the Only Prize
I did not grow up in the era of everyone gets a prize. I am competitive, but largely with myself…see point 8! What I’ve learned from running is that yes 1st place might get the initial glory, but finishing at all is worth a celebration.
Last place didn’t quit. Middle of the pack still showed up and didn’t have to make the sacrifices that it requires to be on that elite podium. We’re still enjoying our cookies, lower mileage and time for other things. A LOT is required to take home first.
10. Try Whether You Think You Can or Not
Every run teaches me that I can do more than I thought. I’m too tired to run and then suddenly 6 miles have flown by. But the key is that no matter how tired I felt, I started.
I could quit 5 minutes in if that’s all I had in the tank and I’d still know at least I tried. For me this is important when I get to scary things like scrambling up a mountain or agreeing to rappel down a waterfall (look out for my upcoming Costa Rica trip!).
11. Every Step Matters
The finish line isn’t the only moment that matters in running. Learning to enjoy the process of training and shown me how to enjoy the process of blogging, learning, traveling and so much more.
If you can find the joy in the journey, the results are so much sweeter. Or honestly when things don’t go your way, it just doesn’t matter as much!
12. Fear is OK
I’m not a fearful person in most instances. I mean I don’t watch scary movies and I don’t like to do things that could result in bodily harm, but ya know I’m not afraid. I just don’t do them.
Since I don’t want to miss out on great experiences, I started to realize that things like race day nerves and my fear of failing spectacularly at a race with thousands of you to report to are just part of living. I can either let it hold me back or I can choose to step in to the fear.
Knowing that some fear makes us responsible and some fear is a liar. Learning the difference is key.
Read managing race day nerves for more >>13. You’ll Never Know it All
I have consumed running books, magazine, journals and articles galore on running. Each one reminds me that I will simply never know it all because WE change and what works for us changes.
Every time I think I’ve got life figured out it hands me a new lesson with a little smirk. That could be horribly frustrating or I could just be a life long learner.
14. I Am
These two words are beyond powerful. It takes us too long to decide we’re runners because we think it looks a certain way and no surprise that applies to all kinds of things!!!
Calling myself a writer? Can I do that without having written a book or getting paid by some larger company…does blogging count?! Or how about another one my friends struggle with “I am a good parent.” “I am enough.” “I am strong.”
Pick your I Am and live it. Using this phrase in my daily mediation (which could be on the floor or while I run!) has been a massive mental shift.
I’m sure running has taught me a million other things like why you should double knot your laces, which porta potties to avoid and how to always find my way home, but those will have to wait.
Running is about so much more than sweat and I don’t know how I was lucky enough to stumble in to it, but I hope my body agrees to let me keep going for miles and miles.
Think Out Loud with me
What has running taught you?
Has your reason for running changed over the years?
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