I Run Because

You strap on your shoes. Lace them up from the bottom to top. Making sure your socks are nice and smooth to reduce the blister risk.

Step outside and turn on your distance tracking/speed tracking app. Thumb through previous runs and set a target for today’s run.

With the headphones blaring, you get started.

The jogging begins. And you remember the first time you went out for a run. In this moment, you realize you’ve grown. Previously riddled with anxiety and wanting to finish quickly, your mentality has shifted to finding a pace. The drive to pound the pavement fast has all but subsided. You still want to finish quickly, but you also realize that what used to be seen as a chore, has become enjoyable. You enjoy the grind of breaking through the first mental block.

And here it comes!

A half mile later, your body begins to resist.

Your breathing rate increases and your body starts to fight, a bit.

There’s a slight uphill and your brain tells you to take the easy way out. You want to turn around. You’re not that far from home. You want to walk back.

But you persist.

You put one foot in front of the other. Tonight you sleep in your bed.

You slow your pace as a means to catch your breath. You surprise yourself, you’re still running. Yet, you’re recovering.

And all the sudden, you’re back in your own headspace. A place nobody can take from you. You are cruising the block, thinking about the day. About your kid’s gymnastic experience. Do you want to enroll her in the ‘fun’ gymnastics program? Or the program with more structure? What direction do you want to take her? What should be structured and what should be play? And despite the lack of planning, how is she so damn cool, already?

I don’t know but you’re still running. And that voice that told you to slow down, suddenly tells you to push it a little bit more.

You find a pride point. You’ve never been able to recover while running. Hmm, maybe this whole running thing IS getting better?

‘Weird’, you think.

As you approach a hill, you tell yourself to just take what the hill gives you. You lean into it and allow the hill to dictate your pace.

‘Nice and easy, short and quick steps, just make it to the top’, you tell yourself.

As you make it to the top, your brain turns back on. ‘You’re tired, dude’.

And again, you find yourself in that battle. You’re halfway finished with your run and you become enamored with wanting to walk. But you’re on the downhill. You repeat, ‘just take what the hill gives you’.

One foot in front of the other. Tonight you sleep in your bed.

You slow your pace and your heart rate drops. Your feet are moving quicker than before. A sense of pride washes over as the hill levels out and you rediscover your pace.

You think about your business. Where do you want to take your career? What is the drive behind what you do? Where do you think you’ll be in two years? Two months?

You begin to plan. In your mind, you lay out a plan for success. You know what you have to do in two days, two weeks, two months, two years. Your life plan starts to unfold. You see it as clearly as you see the street lamp ahead.

You realize you’re nearing the end of your run.

Just a slight uphill to finish it off.

And you’re approaching at a speed that you haven’t reached during this run before. Your legs are burning, your lungs are screaming for air and the sun is blaring in your face. Funny that you just now realize how hot it is outside.

A slight uphill. And you’re close enough to just walk it off and call it a cooldown.

F*ck that voice.

One foot in front of the other. Tonight you sleep in your bed.

You finish your run in a sprint. With your mind, with your body, every ounce of your being, in protest.

You approach your house with heavy lungs. Your breath escapes as you finish with everything you have. And you finally get to your driveway. Run complete.

As a fitness professional, I can’t tell you how many of my peers hate on running. ‘Running sucks, just lift weights faster and take fewer breaks’, as a justified means to escape the idea. And sure, that works. You can 100% increase your heart rate and get all the cardio you need in, without running.

It’s hard. And repetitive. ‘Like a hamster on a treadmill’.

I’ll be the first to say it’s f*cking hard.

But for the last six months, I’ve fallen into running as a challenge. It IS repetitive. It IS hard. It DOES suck.

But I can’t explain how much stronger I’ve become. Every challenge I face has become more temporary. I understand the idea of attacking obstacles.

One foot in front of the other.

It’s teaching me that I can do hard things, regularly. I’ve been given an outlet for stress and anxiety. It has given me targets and goals. I’m able to push the boundaries more. I’m more proud of my body. For years, I resisted it because it was hard. And I still agree with that statement. It will always be hard. But for some reason, I’m comfortable with that.

And tonight I’m excited to sleep in my bed!

Peace like Geese,

Mike

Published by mikeg00se

I like to adventure, paint portraits of goats and love family stuff.

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