What I'm Learning From Running

The more time I spend running, the more time I have to think. And the good thing about thinking while running, is that it's usually positive. Negative thoughts don't like all those exercise endorphins. ;) And with all that thinking and running, I'm realizing that running is teaching me a lot:

  • Sometimes you just can't look at the finish line. Because, you know what, sometimes it looks really, really far away...when running and in life. And so it's easier to just stay focused on the present. The next step, the current view, the pavement directly under my feet. When the finish line is overwhelming, just take it one step at a time. Cause if you keep going, you will eventually get to the finish line.
  • Focus on the present moment and appreciate each step. This is more than not focusing on the finish line. It's knowing that you will get to the finish line eventually, but you also have to get through the next step...and the next...and the next. And perhaps instead of just wishing each step would go by faster, I should appreciate each one of them. Appreciate that my body can do it. Appreciate the view. Live in the moment. I think this is big for me right now. A couple months ago I kept telling people I was 33. In my head I was thinking I was 33. Well, I'm not 33 for another 3 months. And it wasn't because I forgot my age, it was because I kinda didn't want be in the present. I didn't want to be an unemployed girl who was feeling lost. I wanted to be past the hard times. But that is so silly. I still have to get up and live each day and I'm learning that each day has something to offer. I have started to appreciate each day for what it might bring my way: the view, the lessons, the smiles, the tears, the love, the heartache, the struggles, the little victories...all of it.
  • Don't always focus on what other people are doing. Sometimes I'm running along, feeling great...on top of the world and fast. Wind in my hair...you know, the whole shebang. And then some dude comes striding past me...all light and airy and smiley and going, I would guess, at least twice my pace (at least that's what it feels like to me.) And I start to get all deflated. I question my ability, my progress...I question what I'm even doing out there. But then I remember how far I've come. How I couldn't even run a mile without stopping and now I'm running four. Right now I might be slow, but if I keep working at it I won't be as slow. And I know that...I have proof in my running times. So I just have to forget about those other people, stop comparing myself to them. And in life, it's so easy to look at other people and think their life is great. To think I'm not good enough or I will never be as good as the person next to me...as that blogger or that girl I follow on Instagram. But the truth is I'm also pretty freaking amazing. My time is coming. And it's ok to celebrate my little victories...and my 11 minute miles!
  • You always feel better after you've done it. Always! Sometimes I feel great while doing it, but I always feel great after I've run. Which you would think would be enough motivation to get up and do it everyday...but I'm not gonna lie. It's still hard to motivate myself. Life chores are that way too. I always feel better after I've paid my bills, cleaned up my inbox or made that appointment I've been putting off. I'm such a procrastinator, but I'm learning I always feel better after I'm done. And that is starting to be motivation enough.
  • I can do it! I use to think I couldn't run. I was too fat or too slow or not fit enough. People would wonder why I was doing it. Laugh at me. I use to think I wasn't physically capable. But I am. My amazing body is carrying me along farther and farther.  And I'm getting better and better every day. Doubt and fear are real things I deal with on a daily basis. And being unemployed and not exactly sure where I will end up aren't helping with that. But I'm learning to let go of that. To have faith that things will turn out exactly as they should. I recognize the doubt, I hear the fear...but I don't let it overwhelm me. And more importantly, I know I can work through it.
  • If you put the work in, you will see the benefits. I don't think this needs much explanation. The more I put into my training the better I get. But I'm also starting to recognize that I have been working really hard to live the most juicy, happy and full life I can...and it's really paying off. I have come so far. I can look back and truly know that I've learned from my past experiences...I have grown. And that feels good.

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