Run Baby Run
Run Baby Run…
I used to be a runner. I used to run three miles a day religiously and I loved it. Maybe not always getting started, but by the end, I felt amazing. I was really proud of my running. I had not been an athletic kid (Picture, last kid being picked in gym class); I was a brainiac, not an athlete. So, to me, it was a big deal.
Running was an activity I took up in graduate school after I became engaged. I wanted to get into shape for my wedding. I didn’t set out to be a runner. I really just started walking and as I got into better and better shape, I began running…and eventually fell in love with it. I didn’t always wake up (at 5am) wanting to run, mind you, and thank goodness I had a partner, but the feeling of having completed my run was phenomenal. Sure there were endorphins going off that left me that feel good feeling, but there was also the sense of accomplishment and of overcoming obstacles and the pride in what my body could do.
Over the years, my running started to wax and wane. After a series of life changes (family, kids, work, etc…), running just fell off my radar completely. Sometimes, I would think fondly on my running days, how good it felt to run and how proud of myself I had been, but it all seemed like such hard work now. Life was busy and I was not “in running shape.” It just sounded hard and uncomfortable, maybe even painful.
I had to be honest with myself, I wanted to be in running shape, but I didn’t want to do the work. It wasn’t that I couldn’t or that there really wasn’t any time, even though I told myself that. It was that inside I would cringe at the effort it would take to begin again. (Sound familiar? What is it you want to change in your life, but it feels like too much effort?)
I would reach out to friends and ask about how they were doing it. I would read articles online about how to start running again or how to train for a 5K or even a marathon. And then I would do nothing. That’s right, as a brainiac, I would gather up all the information I could get so that I could ponder it, but unfortunately reading about getting fit, doesn’t get you fit.
It was a cycle that was becoming really uncomfortable. Perhaps the pain of not doing it was starting to catch up to the perceived pain of starting over…because yesterday, that changed. I brought my running clothes to work and in between clients I walked over the track and…. I RAN. Without a plan, without a schedule, without a stopwatch or timer, without reading an article on how to get started, I just ran. And when I couldn’t run anymore, I walked. I repeated this until my body said, “that’s good for today” and then I left, with that same great feeling of accomplishment, as if I had just run my three miles. WOW!
It dawned on me during my run. I had been making the classic mistake: looking to others, to the experts to tell me how and when to start, when all I had to do was to commit to starting and then turn within for the how. My main teaching to others has been this: that you, the individual, are the expert of your own life, no one else. You have all the answers you need already within you. Even within your struggles are the answers that you are seeking. I needed to remind myself of my own wisdom. The answers were within me all along. I just had to tune into my body and listen. It knew exactly what to do, I just had to trust it and let it tell me.
The second thing I was reminded of was that as a brainiac, I am often subject to over-thinking (“analysis paralysis,” if you will). It’s both my strength and my weakness. I love to research, read, learn, and grow, but you can’t learn everything from a book. It takes action and experience to truly learn or achieve anything. There comes a point where in order to make a change, you just have to start. Start anywhere, even if it’s wrong, but do something to move yourself towards what you really want.
Stop Thinking and Start Doing! What can you start doing today?
Run Baby Run!