08 February 2018

2 Years of Running and Life Perspective 2.0

My running journey started two years ago--February 6th, 2016 to be exact.

Lacing up an old pair of athletic shoes, tears streaming down my face, hurt and anger raging in my head, I raced out the front door. I ran only one block before stopping to walk on that cold brisk February day. Out of breath and with my whole body aching, I called a friend and kept walking and talking.

Within days of learning life-changing traumatic news, I resolved to run my first 5K. Since running my first 5K April 30th, 2016, I've run over 1,500 miles (including two half-marathons), lost 50 pounds, and gained a whole new perspective on life.
Crossing the finish line Sept. 2017

Life perspective 2.0

Be determined.
Seriously. Determination. To run long distances you have to be determined. You learn not to give up. You press on, even when you want to stop. You tell yourself, one foot in front of the other. One mile at a time. Reminds me a bit of Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, one of my favorite books.
Set priorities.
You make time for what’s important. Life as a runner is important to me because it’s a
healthier way to live, and it keeps me grounded mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Back when I was reading a book a week, people used to ask how I had the time.
I made the time because it was important to me. We all have the same 24 hours in a day,
and it’s up to us how we use them.

Be compassionate.
We can be hard on ourselves and others with negativity, doubt, and judgment or we
can be compassionate and offer kindness towards ourselves and others. Whether
we make our race goals and our life goals by an established time or we pause to enjoy
the moment, we can connect with ourselves and others when we engage in positive,
compassionate, and kind talk and care.

Look inward for peace and contentment.
Long hours on the trail or the road offer time for contemplation and a freeing of the mind
from daily life worries. Running makes life better.

Be humble.
When you consistently run toward the mid-back of the pack, humbleness takes on new
meaning. It doesn’t matter how fast or when you cross the finish line. What matters is that
you’re out there running the same miles as everyone else. So, if you snap a selfie because
you’re proud of yourself, it’s ok because you’re humble in your endeavors. Sometimes you
can’t even believe what you’re capable of accomplishing!

Take action.
Instead of sitting around and hoping or wishing for a better life, you take action and hold
yourself accountable. No one can run the miles for you. No one can force you out of your
big red comfy chair and onto the road for a run. You’re the only one responsible for your
choices and actions.

Be grateful.
You learn the importance of smiling and being grateful for small things like the birds chirping,
the sun shining, the snow and ice-free running trail, the strong legs and body you have from
working hard. You run and enjoy it.

My ongoing running journey brought me a new life perspective for which I am grateful.
It also brought healthier eating habits and weight loss. I didn’t start running to lose weight
or to win any races. I started running to lose the parts of life that were headed straight downhill at accelerating speeds. I gained a new life--one that’s worth loving and worth living passionately. Each day I have a choice to make, and nine times out of ten, I choose joy (and running).

  Jan 2016                                Feb 2018