When I started running two years ago, I thought I was just going to literally put one foot in front of the other until I finished my run and that would be it. I wasn’t in any way prepared for the lessons I would learn through all of those miles.
Running has been an incredible teacher to me. I’ve learned so much about myself and life in general because of it, but here are the five most important that I think we all come across as runners:
5. You Are Your Only Competition
I’m not a very competitive person, but when I hear other runners talking about PRs or what pace they hold on a “comfortable” run, I can get really hard on myself for not matching their standards. Think about that objectively for a minute. That is SO stupid! Their standards are exactly that…THEIRS, not mine! When you focus on your own goals and time and being a better runner than you were yesterday, that is when you’re going to thrive.
4. The First Step is the Hardest
This is a lesson you’ll learn very quickly when you start running. It also applies to anything in life. Deciding you’re going to do something that scares you and taking that first step is so difficult in the beginning. But after the first step comes the second, and so on. With that comes a higher threshold of uncertainty.
3. Consistency is Key
If you kind of want something, you’ll only kind of get the results you want. With running, and most things in life, you need to be consistent to see results. Sure, you can probably get through a half marathon if you run here or there a couple of times a week, but without consistency you will NEVER get better, faster or stronger.
2. Anything Worthwhile in Life Requires the Extra Mile
We’re all humans. We get tired and we feel defeated at times. I’m more familiar with this feeling than you could possibly understand, but running has taught me better than anything that if I can talk myself through running just one more mile, I can talk myself through running another. That slowly spilled over into other areas of my life like school, work and relationships and I’ve accomplished more than I thought I could. If you want something great, you have to be willing to go farther than you dreamed of for it.
1. You Are Stronger Than You Know
Never in my entire life would I have guessed that I would be able to run even one mile, forget a half marathon! But here I am, training for my sixth half marathon. I didn’t acknowledge my strength in any areas of my life until after I had been running for a year, which was only last winter when I was 23. How insane is it that it took 23 years for me to allow myself to acknowledge my strength? Test your limits and let your physical strength empower your emotional strength. You have no idea what you’re capable of.