Monday, December 15, 2014

The Race Inside My Head

Last year, I decided to take up running as exercise after recognizing that life on the road was not helping me stay fit. After turning 30, I noticed my metabolism become slower and slower with each year. Hotel gyms weren't cutting it and I found running to be a great way to achieve goals and get fit. What I didn't realize was that running was a mental sport as well.

I started and stopped after 1 mile, panting with side pains and red in the face. My fitness level wasn't where I thought I was after years of gym memberships and yoga classes. I got myself up to 2 miles but I was still feeling like I wasn't getting anywhere. I wanted results quicker. I wanted my body to perform better and I was getting impatient.

All of a sudden, I started meeting new friends who ran. We didn't meet because of running, but it was a coincidence that they liked to run as well. But these people ran races and marathons on a regular basis and I felt so insecure about my running abilities and felt like my 2 mile milestone was a joke. But, there was one gal who was the most encouraging and she got me thinking about it in a whole new way.

I had to overcome my mind telling me I couldn't go any further. She invited me to run "I'm only doing 3-5 miles today." I cringed thinking I would die at mile 3. I told her how slow I was and how I had not run very far before, but she just kept encouraging me. So, this year, I made a goal to run 20 miles a month. I was out of the country a lot this year and there were several weeks and even a whole month when I didn't run a mile. But today, I hit my goal and I ran the farthest, fastest and longest time ever. I text my friend to let her know. She replied "How did it feel?...I love milestone running." It felt amazing. I coulnd't believe I just ran that far and for that long. I didn't even think about it while I was doing it, I just ran. And today, I finally felt like a runner. 

After an entire year I realized that my mind is stronger and my lungs and legs are toned for endurance. There is a lesson in all of this of course and for me it is that I am strong enough to overcome obstacles, especially when I am the obstacle. All my thoughts of "I can't keep going, I'm not fast enough, I'll die after mile # ___" were just me defeating me. When I changed the belief into something empowering and began believing the new empowered thought, I lapped my brain with positivity, strength and perseverance. 

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