I will be the first person in any large body of people to exclaim that I am not a runner. I have dipped my toe into the running game many, many a time with absolutely n0 follow up. In fact, once I even changed one of my social media bio’s to say “avid runner” as a way of convincing myself, and others, that I was a real player in the Runner’s World. After many false starts, I can confidently say that I was not put on this earth to be a runner. Give me SoulCycle or give me death, but running? Nope, not me. Thanks though!
Joe, of course, is a great runner. He’ll casually jaunt a cool 7 miles and then go to the gym and then want to wake up and do it all over again the next day. He’s been trying to get me to run with him for as long as I can remember, and each time I emphatically remind him that he clearly forgot that I am not a runner! I’m not good at running, and why would I ever try to do something that I’m not great at? Or push myself out of my comfort zone? It’s 2013, who needs to be inconvenienced these days? Not me! Probably not you either, don’t worry. A few weeks ago we were talking about fitness goals and why everyone should have something they’re working towards and Joe said, “You know why fitness goals are important? Because there are no short cuts. You don’t just wake up with results, you have to work for them. It’s hard work and results, there is no easy path, you can’t cheat your way there, and that is a great lesson to always be reminded of.” Okay, fine. FINE.
So the next day I woke up and I went on a damn run. I didn’t set any huge expectations for myself, I just decided I was going to go for a run. So I ran. I ran until I thought I had to give up, and then every time I felt like I couldn’t run any further, I asked myself, “why not?” and the answer was always, “no real reason” so I made myself go just a little bit further. A few steps further, a few seconds longer and every time I did that, I was pushing past that comfort threshold that was telling me no. Pushing past that fear in me that said I just couldn’t do this. After that first run, I felt good. And after the second run I felt accomplished and after the third run I knew that I had broken something inside of me. I had broken through the barrier of fear that I set up for myself years ago that said I couldn’t do something because I wasn’t good at it on my first try. And fear is a liar, I learned that first hand.
I never made myself run before because I let fear tell me that it was too hard and that I wasn’t capable of being a great runner. I don’t wake up eager to chase that euphoric runners high, in fact I wake up most days having to talk myself into putting on my lulu’s and getting out that door, but what I do love about running is the stability that it’s creating in me. I love that every time I run a little further and break a new goal, that I’m reminding myself that there is nothing that I can’t do when I just decide to do it. I love that running is teaching me that I’m capable of accomplishing the goals that I’m setting before myself. I love how in control of my body I feel when I push myself past that breaking point and I love how many times it makes me thank God for my strong and able legs that carry me through these miles and for my healthy lungs that allow me to accomplish this. I am not really a runner, but I love that I’m doing something every day that I’m proud of.
Maybe for you, running isn’t the problem. But I do wonder what barrier of fear you set up that tells you that you can’t just do it, that keeps you from really believing that anything is possible if you want it badly enough. That keeps you from setting goals and knocking them down. I think this is something worth exploring, because you never know how something as simple as a run around Central Park can make all of your dreams feel that much closer.