I started going for a lunchtime “run” with my love. Now, how it is that I would be on the road and in running gear, at lunchtime, is still a little bit of a mystery to me.
Firstly, I’m not a runner, never have been. In fact, it’s something I have always loathed to do. Going for a walk, yes, any day, a run, not so much.
The only explanation I have is that I was trying to be nice. I was trying to be that nice person that does things with their partner that the partner loves to do but they don’t. Like a bonding experience. Something to grow the relationship more and an activity to enjoy together.
Now I do remember declaring right at the beginning of the relationship that running was the one thing I would NOT be joining him on. I put it out there early and yet here I was going on lunchtime “runs.”
I think that somehow his sweet little invitations got to me. “We’ll just take it easy, you can walk anytime, you set the pace, no rush, take your time.” I wanted to whine and make excuses, but I couldn’t.
So, I started doing this lunchtime walk/run thing with him. And I wanted to hate it, but I couldn’t.
You want to know why?
Because he is just so damn supportive, and kind and encouraging.
OMG good people.
I started to enjoy it.
And here are the 7 lessons learned running from me, the non-runner:
1. Mind over Matter
The more I told myself I wasn’t a runner the less I enjoyed the run. This was an early lesson. It’s so easy for negative thoughts to consume us and we end up convincing ourselves that we can’t do things. Who wants to be out running if they not enjoying it? I became very conscious of my thoughts. I kept repeating “I am a runner” over and over again until my mind started believing it. The more I believed it the more I enjoyed it.
The daily habit of doing it, same time every day, turned it into a routine that I looked forward to. I wanted to be out in the fresh air and the sunshine. Obviously when we first started I walked more than I ran, but the more consistently we got out there I was eventually able to run more than I walked. Every day I found joy in the achievement of running more or beating my previous time.
3. Positive affirmations
I found it a great time to do my positive affirmations. It was a way to get my mind to focus on something else besides feeling tired or out of breath. The more I said, “I can do it, I can do it I can do it,” the more I did.
I convinced myself that the deep breathing (read being out of breath) was a form of meditation. I intentionally focussed on slowing down my breathing and trying to be more in control of it. By “meditating” I also got into a calm, relaxed zone where all I was focussed on was the road. Which leads to my next point.
5. Focus on the road
Being on the road, in the fresh air and the warmth of the sun gives you the opportunity to let go of all the noise in your head. All you need to focus on is the road. You automatically let go of everything else.
6. One foot in front of the other
It teaches you that the most important thing to do is put one foot in front of the other, to keep moving and to keep going. You learn that you can push yourself further and that it’s easier to keep moving forward with momentum.
7. It isn’t a race.
I’m so competitive that I wanted to turn the whole thing into a competition. At some point I realised that what I really wanted was to find joy in it. I didn’t want to be the best or the fastest, I just wanted to like it. And that changed everything.
While running is a physical activity I found that the struggle wasn’t with my body but with my mind. It is such a powerful tool that if you can convince it, with enough repetition and consistency, that you are a runner and that you enjoy it, eventually you will.
Now imagine if you apply the same principles to your life. Imagine convincing your mind that you are healthy, that you are abundant, that you are happy, that you are wealthy and that you are blessed, imagine then how your life could change?
With love as always,