In 2012, one of my best friends asked if I wanted to start running with her. I have no idea why I agreed to the idea. I absolutely despised running in school. However, running has become something that I truly enjoy. Here are 9 lessons I’ve learned about life from running:
- Start slow and build up. The first time we got together to run, we ran a total of 5 minutes broken up with walking breaks in between. We thought we were going to throw up! When we ran for 10 minutes straight a few weeks later, you would have thought we had conquered the world. I’ve learned not to expect to be great at something on the first try. It takes practice and persistence.
- It hurts to get better. If you’ve ever done any kind of exercise you know what it feels like to be sore the next day. That pain is caused from stretching your muscles in ways they aren’t used to. If you want to grow and get better as a person, its going to be uncomfortable. Progress doesn’t come easily, it takes work. But in the end, you’ll be glad you endured the growing pains to get there.
- Rest days are just as important as run days. When you start feeling and seeing the results of your training, its hard not to want to run everyday. However, I’ve learned that the rest days in between running actually make you stronger. In life we can become addicted to that feeling of productivity and accomplishment, or we may just feel like there is too much to do and not enough time to do it, but God designed us to rest! Getting enough sleep and taking time to rest each week is so important. Rest makes us stronger, happier, and healthier.
- What you eat matters. I’ve learned the hard way that a burger and fries isn’t the pre-run meal of choice. What you eat directly affects your performance. And this is true for me all of the time. What I eat determines the way I feel. When I eat junk, I feel like junk. When I feel like junk, I’m not the most enjoyable person to be around and I start slacking in many many areas of my life.
- Attitude is everything. Your attitude determines running success. I’ve had the opportunity to run with a few people. Those who complained the whole time didn’t stick with it. In life, your attitude determines your success or failure. Choosing to have a good attitude even in the tough times can make all the difference!
- The competition is yourself. I’ve learned that running isn’t about beating anyone but myself. If I compare myself to others, I’ll never win. We all have different strengths and abilities. So it is in life! God has given me a unique purpose and I can’t fully reach my potential by constantly comparing myself to those with a different purpose. If I compare myself to the person I was yesterday I may have a better chance at winning.
- Don’t judge performance by appearance. I’ve learned that just because someone looks like a slow runner doesn’t mean they are! Just ask the 86 year old woman who beat me in a race a few months ago. Ha! In life, we can write someone off so easily because of their appearance or one little thing we think we know about the person. God has designed us all differently, for different purposes. We all have different talents and abilities. Each one of us is at a different mile marker in our journey to reach our potential! Don’t assume someone will always stay at mile 1.
- It’s OK to walk. To some runners walking is the ultimate sin. At one time, I had worked up to running 6.2 miles straight without walking. However, I’ve since learned that I can go a further distance faster if I break up my running time with walking. In life there are intervals, times to go fast, and times to go slow. During the slow times we can get discouraged, but we must remember to keep going. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually you’ll get there!
- The most enjoyable runs aren’t solo. The most fun times I’ve had running have been with friends and family. The best parts of life are those we spend with the people we care about. It’s not always about what we are doing, but who we are doing it with.
Thank you for reading this post! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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