|Photo by Hunter Johnson on Unsplash|
I have never labeled myself as a runner. Honestly, even though I try to run once a week and race a 5k once a month, it is hard to walk out the door every single time. And yet, I still run.
I suppose the labels are the least of the matter. There is just something about running that I need to conquer. It's like, if I can do this one thing, I can do anything. Do you have something like that?
Running makes me feel strong and capable. It helps put the breathing I learn from yoga into practice. It also helps me think. Several of my "Contemplations" have come from my morning runs.
During my last 5k, I began to remember my first. It was about four years ago in Charleston, South Carolina, the year before we moved to Seattle. I did the “couch to 5k” interval training. It was very hard to train in the southern heat, but I succeeded. I was so excited when I finished my first 5k. I was on my last leg by the time I crossed the finish line, but I did it.
Now, my goal is to do (at least) one 5k race a month. It keeps me moving and the hype of the race helps motivate me throughout the month. The last 5k I did, I finished with my personal best time. That is my purpose, to improve myself, not necessarily to compete.
I’m not saying running is going to be the answer to everything you are searching for to build yourself stronger. It took me quite a bit of time before I was ready to truly begin. However, I do have a little advice to get started.
Get up, get dressed and go.
I didn’t say it would be complex advice. There are tons of methods to help you along. The “Couch to 5k” method has a lot of merit to get you started. There are also lots of apps to track your runs and progress over time. I personally use “Map My Run.” However, whether you have those things or not, that is not what is holding you back.
If you want to try running, or yoga, or Pilates, or cycling, or painting, or snowboarding or whatever, you just have to do it. Get up off your couch, walk away from your computer, and make time in your day - that is the hard part.
Running for me is something consistent, but not a daily priority. That works for me. You have to find what works for you. But to change and improve, you need action. Nike was very clever when they deemed their slogan “Just Do It.” This the secret.
If I’m honest with you, I still don’t know that I love to run. But, I do love how it makes me feel. I enjoy the knowledge that I can push myself and I won't break. I desire that extra boost running grants my mood. I feed off the energy after crossing the finish line of a race. I am satisfied after accomplishing a goal I set for myself.
What gives you that feeling? It may be running, or hundreds other possibilities. Whatever it is for you - get up, get dressed and go. You can do it!