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What Running Taught Me

Either you’re a runner or you’re not. Either you love running or you hate it. I have always, for as long as I can remember have hated it. It’s likely this hatred stems from my young days of sports practice (which I also always hated). Some coach was always making us do sprints or some crazy route around the field. I was never the fastest, running always made my knees hurt, and I’ve just never found it enjoyable. I’ve accepted the fact that I am not a runner, and maybe I never will be. I would however, like to have running in my back pocket as an alternative form of cardio. Maybe it’s the warm weather, or maybe I’m feeling extra optimistic about life, but I have decided to give running another shot.

Change your mindset

I always looked at running at a form of exercise. You have to do enough miles to make it worth it and you have to run fast enough that you feel like you’re going to die at the end. I recently began following someone on social media who runs almost everyday, just because she likes the scenery and the way it makes her feel. She’ll posts her runs and more often than not, she stops and takes a break in the middle and walks for a little while. She is by no means training for a marathon, or even doing it as a workout, but she runs because she enjoys it. This inspired me to view running differently. It doesn’t have to be about getting in a certain amount of miles under a certain time. We can run just to clear our minds, or have some time to ourselves.

No expectations

Even if I can’t get outside, I’ve started to run/walk on the treadmill. It turns out it’s not as terrible as I once thought! There’s no plan  I have to follow, or any expectations I have to live up to. I just start out walking for as long as I need to, and then when I start to become bored, I pick up the pace. I don’t run for any certain amount of time, just as long as I want to or feel like I can. When I don’t want to run anymore, I just slow down the speed and go back to walking.

More than running

It takes a lot for me to try something new, even if it is just going on the treadmill. I’m learning that sometimes the first time doing something is the scariest. It’s the initial step that you take that is the hardest. I’m learning to do this without judgement or crazy high expectations for myself. Instead, I’m doing it just for me and to encourage myself to try something new. I hope to be able to start enjoying running, but in a different way. I hope it can be an outlet for me when life gets crazy, or use it as a way to see different places and explore my surroundings. So my question to you is what your form of “running”? What have you always wanted to try but been to scared to, or avoided because you thought you wouldn’t live up to your own expectations? Take it from me, it’s easier than you think.

Written by GUADS staff member Emily

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