Running is a great sport in that it humbles you, and teaches you hundreds of small lessons along the way. I thought I’d share with you some of the bigger ones I’ve learnt in the past three or four years!
Persistence is key.
Running, like a lot of things in life, is about persistence. Showing up is key. Sometimes you don’t feel like it. But most of the time, you do it anyway. Sometimes you feel better for it, sometimes you don’t. The point is, if you show up, that’s half the battle. Showing up is how you make progress, however small.
Running is like life- you just have to keep going
When life gets hard it can be easy to become paralysed. It sometimes seems like there is no way of moving forward, or making progress. Your whole
My body has value for what it can do, as much as how it looks.
This is certainly one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learnt. Even though I’ve always been in quite good shape, including being able to dance en pointe(!) I never really appreciated what my body could do, and the amount of stress, sport and general craziness I put it through. Running has definitely made me appreciate what I can do It’s what I try to stick to when I’m having a fat bad body image day, and it certainly helps.
It’s all about self-determination
The most rewarding part of running for me is that I get out of it what I put in. If I have a particularly good string of training runs, it’s likely I’ll have a good race, and may even get a personal best. Likewise, if I undereat, or fill my body with a ton of junk, I’ll feel the results. I don’t have to rely on anyone for my running, and consequently, ‘m completely responsible if it all goes wrong (OK, sometimes we can blame the rain, or curse our legs for giving out on us, but sometimes it really is just on us). It sounds weird, but I like that kind of accountability.
You have to listen to your body.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m terrible at listening to my body. Firstly, it never really occurred to me to do anything but what my mind had decided, regardless of what my body was saying. (6am run with a hangover?! SUCH FUN). Secondly, I’ve never been very well attuned to my body. Am I really tired? Or just feeling a bit under-motivated? Have I got a stitch because I ate too close to running, or is it that my abs hurt from my ab circuit last night? The point is, I’m not great at tuning in to what my body is saying. But, thanks to my injury, I’m learning. Or at least trying to learn. I’m walking more mindfully, paying closer attention to my appetite (which is unreliable at the best of times) and taking many a power nap whenever I can. It’s a work in progress, but aren’t we all?
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from your time in the sport?
Lots of love,