"The people who are the most successful know who they are, what they believe and why they are pursuing what they’re pursuing." - Paul Angone For as long as I can remember, I've always loved to try new things. From a new dance move to a new dish, doing something other than the norm is totally my jam.
So when I decided to pick up running two months ago, I didn't think it would be any different than other 'new things' I've taken on in the past. (Boy, was I in for a rude awakening.)
The first time I ran 3.2 miles with District Running Collective (DRC), I honestly didn't think I was going to make it. While I started off at a decent pace, the moment I saw people whizzing past me, I got flustered and self-doubt set in immediately. I griped, complained and damn near cried for half a mile. But luckily my good friend Ashlee was there with me every step of the way to cheer me on until we finished. ☺️
Now for those of you that aren't as familiar with the art of distance running, there's more to it than lacing up your sneaks, pressing play on your favorite Spotify playlist and putting in miles. Just like anything in life, we must prepare, focus and see ourselves completing the course that is before us. Running has not only become a new hobby, but it has made completely impacted the way I pursue my goals on a daily basis.
Stride. Your stride is like a snowflake – it's not going to be nor will it ever be the same as the person you're running next to. In life, we may find that some of our peers are cruising through life and accomplishing goals left and right – and that's fine. Remember that your stride determines you being one with YOUR personal journey, no one else's.
Breathing. This is pretty self explainatory. But you can't forget to breathe! During my 10K this past Sunday, I caught myself getting ahead of myself mentally because of all the runners that were way ahead of me. This caused me to panic and then hyperventilate. Needless to say, I had to stop, catch my breath and remember that I was running this race for myself. Not only does breathing send the oxygen we need to our brains to function, but it also provides focus. This is one critical element that I will continue to work on in running (physically) and in life. And trust me, it's okay to slow down and take a breather if you need it.
Pace. Similar to stride, your pace determines this speed in which you travel. As a novice runner, I'm not runnig 6-7 minute miles yet, but I'm going to work hard to get there one day! You can't compare your beginning to someone else's middle. I admire the hell out of elite runners, but never will I front like I can keep up with them EVER. My current pace is a reminder that I can always improve and become better, but I need to conquer this level before I look to advance to the next.☺️
Support. The support that I've received from family members and friends has been unbelievable. And it also helps to be apart of a community of runners that is always encouraging one another. I've learned so much about myself and running as a sport in the last two months, and I hope that I can inspire those who are contemplating hitting the pavement to do so.
If anything, running has taught me to get shxt done. Whether that be working on a project I've been putting off, answering that email or finishing a book, running has motivated me to push myself one step further. It also has reminded me not to put so much pressure on myself. It's literally impossible to go from walking to Usain Bolt in one day. (thanks for the analogy J. Nesi, 😉) Progress is a process, but as along as you stay the course and keep your focus, you see the fruits of your labor in no time.
Welp, gotta run – these miles aren't going to run themselves!
Thanks for the love everyone,
P.S. – I'm heading home to run in the 16th Annual Race Against Hate next month, and would appreciate your support in helping me reach my fundraising goal. Click here to learn more – thanks in advance!