This post was originally published on www.lifeupandrunning.com.
One of the first things women around my age say about my running is some version of “Oh, I could never do that!” Unless there is a glaring reason why not, my response is, “Of course you can, if you want to!”
If you want to do something, never tell yourself you can’t.
I talk about running a lot, write about running, and read about running because I freaking love running. That much is obvious. What might be less obvious is why. I really only have two reasons. One is the endorphin rush. Honestly, a lot of times running is hard and kinda sucks. Sometimes it sucks hard. But if you stick with you might get blessed with a run where your legs are moving freely, your mind is clear, your breathing is comfortable, and you feel like you are flying. And if you’re lucky, it might even happen on race day. And these are the runs that I live for, the runs that keep me coming back. The runs that make me feel like I am whole-heartedly a runner.
My journey with running started 6 years ago shortly after I moved to Maine for graduate school. Back then I was 100 lbs heavier, unhealthy, out of shape and struggling with loneliness, anxiety and depression. I reached the point in my life where I couldn’t take who I was anymore and I knew I needed to change. I always admired runners, but growing up I couldn’t even make it through the one-mile fitness test in school, so the thought of me running was a joke. In my quest to make a change I came across the couch to 5k training program and decided I had nothing to lose by trying it. I still remember lacing up a pair of cheap target sneakers and jumping on a treadmill that first day. I almost died running that first interval, but I did it!
I feel like I discuss motivation a lot on the podcast. Anyone who has been listening to the podcast lately can tell that I haven’t been running very much the past few months.
I can post a million motivating quotes and pictures, set up a training plan, and create goals for myself, but that isn’t actually motivation.
I think I just had an epiphany about my running. It seems so obvious to me now that I can’t believe it hadn’t occurred to me sooner. I think I am a much faster runner than I allow myself to be.