Yesterday I shocked myself! I went for a run with my coach and I didn’t stop once. Okay, okay, it was just a 1.5 mile run, but still. Leading up to the run, I was getting nervous and anxious that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. When we were done running, I was absolutely amazed and proud of myself. It’s been more than 20 years since I’ve gone on a conscious run. I was sure that I would poop out after a short while. It helped that we were outdoors checking out the pretty weather and scenery. The thought of running on a treadmill nauseates me, it’s so boring.
I knew that I needed to incorporate some different kinds of exercise to my fitness routine and I’ve avoided running for a long time. Yesterday was the day that I would face that discomfort. After it was done, I did a lot of reflecting on what helped me succeed in this small feat.
I realize that running is a lot like life. Like yesterday, sometimes I get nervous about new challenges or about things I used to be good at but haven’t done in a while. We doubt ourselves and our own abilities. I proved myself wrong. But there were so many factors that contributed to my success. First, accountability and a strong support system. I consciously made time for a run then scheduled it with my coach. We met at the beach and he ran the whole way with me. With each step, encouraged me and not once made me feel like I couldn’t do it. I’m pretty sure he could’ve lapped me a couple times, but he stuck with me. That’s what a great coach does. I also noticed my breath. Such a basic, but necessary part of life. I controlled my every breath and never let myself hyperventilate, even when I was actually out of breath and tired. In life, we need to learn to slow down and take care of our most basic needs. Sometimes, my mind was telling me to quit but I found that my body still had enough stamina to keep going. I kept looking down at my feet to make sure they were still running. Weird. When I reset my mind and focus, I could actually continue. When both body and mind were aligned, it was much easier to accomplish my goal.
Today, I challenged myself to run again. I ran the same path, this time on my own while my family played nearby. Although my coach wasn’t with me, my family was and I made it just as far as I did yesterday. I was so stinkin’ proud of myself again. You know what made it an even sweeter personal victory? My family was at the end of the path cheering me on and waving at me as I came to a stop. Even though it was a relatively short run, they didn’t care. All they saw was that Mommy didn’t give up and they were happy to greet me. Their support meant the world to me. I don’t know if two runs in a row means that I’ve found my long lost frenemy called running, but I do know that I accomplished something that I never thought I could. With this under my belt, I know I can accomplish anything if I put the right focus and determination into it; in life and on the running path.