Fit Friday Motivation ~ 10.13.17

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Happy Friday the 13th! The weekend is finally upon us, and I don’t know about you, but I’m counting down until I’m off to spend time doing the things I love the most with the people I love the most.

I thought this meme was perfect for my Fit Friday post.  How true is it?!  When I tell someone who doesn’t run how much I absolutely love running, one of the things I hear most is “oh I could never do that; I don’t like to exercise that much.”  And of course my response is always that, to me, running really isn’t exercise.  Well technically it is (and it’s a great workout at that), but it’s so much more than “just exercise.”  It’s free therapy.  It’s the greatest self-esteem booster there is.  It’s a great motivator.  It’s an endorphin rush.  It’s an instant mood lifter.  It’s a mind clearer.  It’s an anxiety reducer.  It’s a stress reliever.  I could go on and on about the mental and emotional benefits of running– there are so, so many.  Although I appreciate the physical benefits too, the mental and emotional benefits are what first got me hooked on running and what keep me coming back for more miles.  It’s hard to explain to anyone that doesn’t run, but once you’ve experienced the “runner’s high,” it becomes a (healthy) addiction.

What are your weekend plans?  I’m running one of my favorite local 5K’s tomorrow morning, followed by a well-deserved buckwheat pancake breakfast with my family! I’ll be sure to recap the race sometime next week.  Have a great weekend. =)

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Fit Friday Motivation

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Source: Run U Mother Facebook page

I think everyone has had these runs at one point or another– the ones where your defenses break down and you begin to doubt yourself, your abilities, and your training.  It might be during a race or during a training run.  And as much as I dread having this type of run, I never let it defeat me when it does occur.  I push through to the finish line because I know when I do, I’ll be a stronger person and a better runner.  These are the kinds of races, training runs, workouts that show us what we’re really made of.  They force us to put our heart and soul into them just to get to the finish.  They teach us things about ourselves that we never knew before.  They show us that we’re capable of so much more than we thought possible.  In my opinion, these are the runs that make a runner a runner.  They makes us stronger people and stronger athletes.  I dread the experience, but I love the after-effects.  =)

I hope everyone has a fun, fit weekend!! =) 

Running is More Than Just a Hobby

… It’s a way of life. An identity.

I saw a quote on a Facebook fan page this morning that said “Love the sport. Running is what you do. Runner is who you are. Be good to yourself.” (from Debra Morrow, Runner’s World Challenger of the Week on 6/7/13).  This quote really made me think about the role that running has played in my life.

I was a different person before I started running. Looking back, I really can’t recall my attitudes and viewpoints in life before my running days.  That sounds strange, but it’s true.  What did I look forward to?  What were my personality traits and how were they formed?  How did I face life’s obstacles and challenges– did I have an optimistic, headstrong attitude towards them, or was I cowardly and afraid?  Was I content with never knowing my own abilities and limits?  Was I content with not really knowing myself?  I honestly can’t remember 

Running has given my life a more deep, more profound meaning.  It’s taught me that there’s more to life than we can ever possibly understand, and it did that by teaching me more about myself than I ever knew before.  It taught me that there’s something deep inside all of us that, once tapped, breaks the preconceived limits and barriers than we have set for ourselves.  For me, it takes a good run to be able to tap into that phenomenon.  I’m always amazed at what my body can achieve when I push it further than I believed I ever could.  If you face challenges head on with a positive attitude, you are sure to conquer them.  I’ve signed up for races despite my doubts and fears and discovered that I could do them if I tried.  Running 13.1 miles sounded crazy until I signed up for a half marathon and finished it.  Climbing “The Summit” (a local 1200 foot elevation increase over 3.5 miles) sounded impossible until I signed up for a race to the top and finished.  You can’t be afraid to try, or else you’ll never know where your limits really are (hint: they’re probably not where you think they are).  This is something that has strongly defined my personality since I started running.

Running has taught me to not give up when times get tough.  Because if you don’t give up, you will be rewarded.  You have to want the reward bad enough– whether or not you know what that reward is– to keep on going when you feel like quitting.  I can’t tell you how many races I’ve struggled through just to get to the finish line.  That victorious feeling of crossing the finish after a tumultuous race is the kind of indescribable reward you can’t get elsewhere.  I’ve run races in 90 degree heat & humidity, without proper fuel, with aching legs, without proper training for a <surprise!> hilly course, etc.– and I have never regretted a single one.  I think perseverance is an essential life trait– you can’t survive in a world full of chaos and situations beyond anyone’s control if you don’t have it– and I only have running to thank for giving me that trait.  I didn’t have that ardor before I started running.  Whether it’s in a tough race or in a difficult personal matter, you can’t give up if you want to survive until the turmoil is over.

Running also enriches the emotions, in my opinion.  A good run will summon emotions that don’t surface in everyday activities (I blame the endorphins).  For example, I perceive things on such a deeper level during a long run that I am overwhelmed with joy at the simplest kind act of humanity, or the pure beauty of nature on the hiking trail.  I feel like running allows you to see objects and situations with more clarity, and you respond with more raw emotions than you would on a normal, day-to-day basis.  I’ve cried on my long runs just from the emotional rush (yes, I just admitted that).  I love the feeling of being able to tap into emotions that run deeper than I thought possible.  It’s another natural response from the body that never fail to amaze me, and it only occurs when I’m in the midst of a good run.

Furthermore, my body just doesn’t feel right when I’m not challenging it on a regular basis.  How did I get that kind of satisfaction from my 30-minute bouts of cardio before?  I don’t think that I did.  Again, I can’t really remember…

Simply put, running has molded my personality and has been a major influence on making me the person that I am today.  To those of us that run, it’s more than a hobby– it’s a way of life.  Running is a sport that I love, it’s my sport, and I always look forward to it.  Running is what I do.  It’s who I am.  I think that Ms. Morrow couldn’t have stated it better.

I think this is a blog post that only other runners can understand.  We run because we love the effects that running has on us physically, emotionally, and mentally.  It enriches our lives and makes us who we are.  Until you’ve experienced these effects for yourself, you can never truly understand them.

What has running done for you?  Has it had a profound impact on your life??