6 months ago I made the decision to begin running. It was a choice I made to take my own health into my own hands. I wanted to do something for myself. I wanted to prove I could do it. In the end, this journey has become a true passion of mine. I love going out for a run and wish that I could do it more than the two days a week I squeeze in right now. I get excited every time I sign up for a new race because it gives me a new mini goal to work toward.
During these past 6 months I have learned a lot about running, myself and becoming “fit”. There are a lot more things I learned but I figure I will leave it at 6. I am also not a fitness expert.
- Taking time for yourself helps you stay positive. Since I started running I have found I can better manage stress and anxiety. I definitely think it is because I take the decompression time to run a couple days a week. It gives me time to think, listen to a few podcasts and to do something good for myself. With the stress that is in the dairy industry right now I need all of the help I can get when it comes to de-stressing.
- Runners are the nicest people ever. If you have never been to a race, trust me runners really are the nicest, most supportive people. I have never been in a sport where so many strangers verbally encourage each other and cheer them on. Whenever I have asked for advice, everyone has gladly offered up what they know. I don’t know of a runner than won’t gladly slow down or cut a run short to run with someone new.
- There is no replacement for good quality equipment. I don’t always agree with this. However when it comes to running, I believe there is no replacement for high quality gear. Especially shoes. Do yourself a favor and go into a running store. Do not go into a chain sports store. Find a running store, go in and get your gait assessed. Have no preference for brand in your head. Then find the most comfortable pair of shoes for you. Buy a few high quality pieces of running clothes. You will not regret any of this because you cannot do better than comfort on your feet and clothing that will last you years.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. A lot of us runners are competitive. I am just as guilty as the next. However, I have learned that being too competitive can suck the fun out of it. Let’s face it, the majority of us will not be an elite runner. So enjoy the journey one step at a time. And eat cake sometimes. You run, that means you can eat cake and not feel too guilty.
- Strong is sexier than skinny. I was really skinny when I was in high school and college. I would now consider myself average sized. From my experience, feeling strong and bad ass gives me so much more self confidence than being skinny ever did. Embrace it and do not let anyone make you feel bad about yourself. My running mantra is, “Strong is sexy. I am a bad ass.”
- Don’t quit. Sometimes we get sick. Sometimes we get hurt. Sometimes life just gets in the way. Whatever you do, don’t quit! The best part about running is that you can always pick it back up. No matter how much time has passed you can go back to it. Regardless of how hard it is, sticking it out and accomplishing your goals will be worth it.
I hope this post will inspire you to take a run and love this sport of running. What else would you add to this list?