Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Running Has Taught Me

Running is more than a form of exercise. It is a way of life. There is something about running that breaks down your walls and leaves you raw, vulnerable. There is something about running that teaches you, that shapes you into who you are. Running makes you strong. I've said it before, but running and I have had a rocky relationship in the past. But I've always come back to it. I can't give it up. Its not an option. So, over my many years of running, I've definitely learned a few things. Running is like life in so many ways.

The race isn't over when you cross the finish line. The race is never over, it is only a stepping stone on your climb up the mountain. You must use every race, every run, as a learning experience; you must get stronger with every success and every failure.

Running teaches you a hard work ethic. I had an employer say to me once that they would hire anyone who was a distance runner because of the mentality and hard work it takes to subject your body to something hard for so long.

It doesn't matter if you walk or run. As long as you are moving, you are still getting closer to your goal. It is only when you stop and stand there that you aren't getting anywhere.

You cannot base your self-worth as a runner or as a person on people around you. Life, like running, is a personal journey. It is up to you to write your own story. Trying to be like somebody else will only fail you in the end. You must run for YOU. You have to find that passion deep inside yourself and then, only then will you become successful. And success is relative to each individual person.

You can always do more than you think you can. It is so cliche writing this, I'm almost embarrassed to, but if you believe in yourself, you really can do it. Seriously. I never believed I could run a 5 minute mile. But I did. I never believed I could break 18 minutes in a 5k, but I did. I never believed I could finish THAT workout, but I did. Hard things in life are not going to kill you. You ARE going to make it through. NEVER GIVE UP

Weaknesses don't have to determine who you are. They don't have to slow you down. You don't have to give in to your weaknesses. It is about learning how to turn your weaknesses into strengths. When you aren't good at something, practice it. So you suck at hills? Do hill repeats. So you aren't good at meeting new people? Force yourself into a situation where you have to. Things get easier.

It is NECESSARY to have fun doing what you do. There is always something good about anything. It may be hard to find, but focusing on the good things will help you enjoy your tasks. Sometimes you need to adjust your perspective or focus. If you aren't having fun, you are wasting your life. You have to learn how to find the good in the things you hate.

Most of all what I've learned from running is that you will have bad days and you will have good days. You cannot let the bad days define or determine your attitude. The past is over and there is nothing you can do to change it. Instead, focus on what you can do now to become what you want to be.

What have you learned from running? Take a moment and think about it; a little personal reflection is good for you


  1. Thank you for posting these encouraging words. I'm new to the running world and it can be very intimidating. There is always going to be someone faster, someone more experienced. But I do my best to focus on how each run makes me feel, inside and out. I don't have anyone to check in with, someone who is genuinely interested in my running/fitness progress. So I truly value reading posts like yours. It's sort of like having a long distance friend patting me on the back and encouraging me to keep on going.

    1. I was just re-reading this post and your comment and I am so glad my words could be encouraging to you! I hope that you have continued to run. Bloggers like me love to be that person that you can be accountable to! Seriously, I love hearing stories like yours. I hope that you have fallen in love with running and have been able to experience hard times that have helped you grow and become an even stronger runner!


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