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How Running Changed My Life

RunningI never liked running. I would beg my mom to let me stay home from school whenever gym class required a mile run. Running seemed boring and tiring. There was no way you were getting me on that track.

In 2012, that mindset changed completely. After I had my baby, I needed a quick, effective workout that didn’t require travel or money, and was mindful of my reoccurring back injury. So, in August of 2012, I laced up my running shoes and headed down the street.

I can do more than I thought I could

When I first started, running was agonizing. I thought I was relatively healthy and in shape, but running quickly taught me otherwise. I’d run the length of a Lady Gaga song and then walk during the next pop hit. Then, I’d run again. I was disappointed about stopping to walk, but I had no choice. My legs would just stop running. Or so I thought.

After about a week of this, I decided to force myself to keep going. I’d run for three songs and walk for one song. I’d run for four songs and walk for one song. This mental push was all I needed. Suddenly I stopped counting in songs and started watching a mile and then two miles pass without stopping. I had no idea my body could do this. There was a groove I was getting into and it went along perfectly with every pop song on Pandora.

Clearing my head is the healthiest thing in the world

Once I was over the hurdle of thinking about running, I realized that I didn’t think about anything at all during my runs. My head was clear. I ran outside in different parts of the neighborhood, passing new houses, new people, and new animals. I ran through parks and listened to the different birds and took in the trees and rocks and water as I ran by.

Anything that bothered me in life was left at the start of my run. I literally did not worry about anything. Work, family, friends, ideas, chores, to-do lists, etc. were all distant memories. All I could hear was the music and all I could see was the path in front of me.

When I finished my run, not only did I feel healthy and fit, but my mind was healthy and fit too. It got the break it needed and I got the workout I needed. I was ready to start my day.

 I have more energy than ever before

By starting my day with a run, I have a clear head and a positive mindset. I am ready to take on anything. Everyday that started with running was a day set for success. I have more energy for work and more energy to take care of my son. I am eager and excited to start my day. I feel loose and open-minded. I am happy. My day starts on a high note and it’s tough to get me down.

Before I started running, I’d lean on coffee for my morning energy. That would help me through my morning commute, my morning emails and maybe a few morning meetings. But by 10am, I was tired and not as motivated. The day was a series of ups and downs. Running changed all of that. My day is cranked to 11 from the start.

I am more goal oriented

Tools like my FitBit and RunKeeper have inspired me to run further, faster and harder. They track my progress and help me set goals. I share my progress with my friends and connections on those apps, and that pushes me even hard. After all, I want a high ranking on the dashboards.

I ran my first 5k last September, and ran five miles this past November. I’m 11 pounds less than I was before I even got pregnant. Running got me in shape and my back is stronger than ever. I remember not being able to run for more than one song and I can’t believe that was me.

This mindset applies to work now too. I’ve always been hard working and goal oriented, but now I know how to set my mind to something. I know how to push myself. I know that my goals are achievable, and crushable, even.

 

Running may not be for everyone, but everyone can find a motivational tool to change their lives. Life is about putting one foot in front of the other, and running is the essence of that.

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4 thoughts on “How Running Changed My Life

  1. Amanda:

    I can relate. Running is wonderful and getting out there and taking time for your mind and body is priceless.

    As I can’t run anymore, I have become a huge yoga fan. Everybody has to find what they love away from work, be good to themselves and find that place where mind and body unite in peace.

    Namaste :-),

    Natascha (friend of JCs).

  2. Totally agree with you. Running helps me by getting rid of stress. I don’t run as often as I used to, maybe twice a week now, but I’ve incorporated other exercises into my routine – yoga, barre, and now cycling. All of them help me focus on myself, and performance. I’d say a nice escape before checking back into reality. =)

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