The Art of Running

This is the first semester that I haven’t consistently exercised.

I was injured for the first couple months of this semester, which was my excuse not to fit it into my schedule. But even now, I’m noticing the differences between being active and fit and not.

I kind of thought that one day I would be fine eating whatever I wanted and not caring what my body looked like….boy was I wrong. I’ve never been one to “embrace my body” and I’m more of a body shamer than I like to admit. But, rather than change my mindset about my body, I decided to change my lifestyle.

I am going to get fit again!

After coming home from break, I decided that I would wake up early every morning and go for a run. Mind you, I don’t run. I hate running. I probably would die if I had to run a 10K to save myself from the end of the world. I just don’t like to run. So why on earth would I make a goal to run… in the morning… in the freezing cold?!

Well… I still haven’t quite accomplished the first step of that goal- the running part.

Every night, I go to bed and think: “I’ll get up early tomorrow and run.” However, it wasn’t until tonight that I realized I never asked myself the question, “Why?”

To make things more ironic, I love exercising. I absolutely love working out. I love doing circuit training, all kinds of ballet and Pilates, workout videos, even the occasional elliptical. So then, if I didn’t like running and liked doing all of these other things better, then why was I so bent on running?

Did I want to run, or did I want to be able to say that I ran?

Let’s be honest, it sounds a lot better to brag to friends, “I ran 3 miles this morning,” than, “I did a 45 minute ballet workout.” Running is more relatable to people, in terms of difficulty. No one really knows how hard you work when doing ballet. But, it goes deeper than that. I wanted to be able to brag to people that I had the discipline to get up and do that. I was strong enough, mentally and physically, to complete challenges set against myself in less than ideal conditions.

That in itself is a fine goal to have, but it’s no way to decide how to exercise. Or work. Or eat.

If your actions revolve around your ability to tell someone about them, you’re doing it wrong.

You shouldn’t decide things based on how prestigious or ambitious they sound. This will only lead to unhappiness and unnecessary strife. You are more likely to cheat on a goal that you don’t actually want to accomplish than one that you’re excited to do. I’m excited to do a ballet class, not go on a run.

So don’t run the race to get the reward to tell people about it. Run the race to make yourself feel better. If you don’t, then you’ve missed the point of running at all.

If, at some point in my life, I decide I want to run for fun, then I will. But, it will only be because I want to, personally.

If this is something you’re struggling with, the not being able to not brag about things you do (that inadvertently make you unhappy), then I challenge you with this: Make a goal for yourself, but don’t tell anyone what it is. Write down your accomplishment instead.

When the selfish need to seem better than everyone else is gone, then you have truly experienced a goal worth accomplishing.

I can’t wait for the day that I’ll be ready to run.

 

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