One of my favorite ways to start my day off is with a run. It does not matter if it is two miles or eight miles, what matters to me is the mental growth I gain in that time. It is time dedicated strictly to ME and allows me to escape from my everyday stressors and relax. It is relaxing to put my running shoes on, plug into my headphones and set out for an adventure.
But I was not always like this. Growing up as an athlete, I always enjoyed running but never considered it to be a hobby. The only time I would go for a run would be during the off-season to stay in shape. Otherwise, running was only seen as a conditioner that was a necessity for being an athlete. The summer before my freshman year of college is when I truly considered it a hobby.
“If you fail to prepare, you’ve prepared to fail.” -Mark Spitz
Even though I do enjoy running alone, it is equally as fun to have a running buddy. It makes time fly by, as you are chatting away the whole time and forget how far you’ve truly gone. For me, my regular running buddy when I am back home is my mom. Every morning that I am home, we start our day off with a run ranging anywhere from 3-6 miles. I genuinely look forward to the time that we spend together sweating, chatting, laughing, and struggling together (we aren’t a big fan of hills).
My FAVORITE part about running is being able to explore so many places. Changing the scenery of my runs keeps me motivated and excited to try something new. I often stop and take pictures along the way, or go out onto a dock, if I am running by water to take it all in. Did I mention that you can do it anywhere? If you are on a vacation, take a run along the beach. All you need is shoes and you are ready for adventuring. No need for a gym membership.
During my run, I set my intentions for the day and what I need to accomplish. Whether that be laundry, cleaning my room, doing homework, grocery shopping, doing something with friends, or doing absolutely nothing. It is a time that I devote to myself and allow my mind to run along with my body.
Running ultimately allows you to focus on your body’s mindfulness, or your ability to focus your mind on the present and not let your mind sprint in a million different directions about your past and future.
“Running is an activity that can be done mindfully with full intention. This can help us connect with our physical self and refocus our attention on our body rather than unhelpful thoughts and rumination that can often lead to intensely negative feelings.” – Dr Tourini
Running has allowed me to free myself from stressors in my life and EXPLORE! It is a huge part of my life.
For anyone who thinks that running is not for them or it is too hard, try it out for yourself. Remove the negative thoughts about it and set yourself up for success. I had a negative view about running, until I took the initiative to dive deeper into it and look where that has taken me! You do NOT have to go far or even run for that matter. Walking is just as effective and can help people in the same way!
Move your body in a way that works for you, not based off of what someone else is doing.
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