10 Truths about Running
For the past 5 days, I’ve done nothing but talk about running, think about running, hang out with runners and run. I returned from the Hood to Coast Relay last night feeling energized and inspired. It was an epic and profound experience that was much more than just a race or another run (race recap coming this week). It’s hard to describe the thoughts and feelings that have been coursing through my soul the past few days. What I do know is that this experience has deeply clarified what I know to be true about running. Running is a lot more powerful than simple forward motion. It’s more than getting sweaty or crossing finish lines. When I think about running, I think about the people it has brought into my life and the person it has helped me become. I’m thankful to the Nuun team and the women I shared my Hood to Coast experience with who helped make these lessons clearer to me than ever.
These are the 10 things I know to be true about running.
1. We are stronger than we think we are. We are capable of doing more than we think we can do. The only boundaries around us are the ones we set for ourselves. Let go of your doubts. Let go of your fears. Focus on what you’re going to do, not if you can actually do it. (I’m so guilty of this!) Be confident in yourself. Believe in yourself. As my friend Tere would say, what we think is what we become. Think positive. Think bigger.
2. Celebrate every runner of every ability. Every person who makes the choice to run is awesome. Whether you run a 5-minute mile or a 15-minute mile, everyone who runs is a rock star in their own rite. If you think you’re better than someone because you’re faster, you’re not. Never forget that every runner who is putting in effort – to push herself, to try harder, to be better – is the same. Remember who you are and why you started running, and be a positive influence for everyone who runs, regardless of pace.
3. There will always be someone who is better, faster and/or stronger than you. Be proud of what you can do, even if you can’t (yet) do what others around you can. Be grateful you can run and love the runner you are.
4. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Every run will not be your best run. On those days, give yourself a break and channel your energy into moving forward. Use the bad days as learning experiences and readjust your goals on the days or runs that are difficult. Focus more on what you can do than on what you can’t or don’t think you can do.
5. Be the kind of person who inspires people daily. Be your true self. Be kind and supportive to those around you. Share an encouraging word with someone new to running. Take the time to help someone who needs your advice. Volunteer at a race. Pace a friend who is slower than you to a new PR. Be the kind of person you want others to be.
6. Balance running with life. At the end of the day, true happiness has little to do with the number of marathon medals tucked away in a drawer or how many race PRs you’ve achieved. It’s about the people we experience those milestones with. The people who are there supporting us every day. The relationships we develop. The love that we build and share.
7. The only way to get better is to work harder. To be focused and disciplined. To do what you say you’re going to do. Running isn’t easy, but it’s the challenge that makes it great.
8. Don’t forget to have fun. If running isn’t fun, you shouldn’t be doing it. If you need to take a break, take one. If you want to remember why you love running, go for a trail run, register for a relay or try something you haven’t done before.
9. Running is a community. Running bonds people together who may never have met or otherwise been friends. Running is an individual effort but it’s truly a team sport. The people I run with make me a better runner.
10. Running doesn’t define you. The kind of person you are every day is what defines you. How you are as a human being. The way you treat others. That is what defines you. Running just makes us better.
What do you believe to be true about running? What has running taught you about life?