When many people think of running, or any type of cardio for that matter, their minds immediately go to the sweat and the exhaustion that comes along with it. But what many people fail to realize is that running is more than just a weight loss tool or form of exercise. Running is way of life that slowly transcends from something you do to something you are.
Once you become a runner, you learn that this way of life embodies all of the most important life lessons. From mile one to mile 13, and all the miles I will run in the future, here are some of the greatest messages my morning, nighttime, and mid-day runs have taught me throughout the years.
1. I am capable of so much more than I could ever imagine
On my first run, I could barely finish a mile in 15 minutes, and I never thought I would be able to finish even a 5K. But now, I have completed multiple 5K’s and even a half-marathon, and I finished all of those races with some of my best times. Similar to this, I have completed so much career- and education-wise, and even in my personal life, that I never thought was possible. And looking back on all of my ventures and accomplishments gives me an incredible happiness.
2. If life was meant to be easy, it wouldn’t be worth living
There are no easy runs. Every time you run whether it be one mile or a full marathon, you are challenging yourself mentally and physically. Maybe you want to beat your last time, or maybe run an extra mile, or maybe you’re just running even though you really didn’t feel up to it that day. No matter the challenge, it’s still a hurdle that you’re overcoming. When you face obstacles, no matter what they are, it is a chance to grow and become the ultimate version of yourself, and every step of every mile is all the proof you need.
3. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you as long as you reach your goals
A 12-minute mile is just as far as a 6-minute mile. It doesn’t matter if your best friend, who has the same goals, reaches them before you do, just as long as you don’t give up. Everyone has a different story and everyone has their own challenges that others will never have to go through. It doesn’t matter the time it takes to reach your goals, so long as you keep the final destination in mind and never give up on your way there.
4. Negativity is irrelevant
During runs, especially long ones, voices will pop into your head saying there is no way you can finish the distance and that you’re not strong enough to reach your goal. Those voices are irrelevant, just as the voices of those in your life who tell you you’re not good enough, that you’re crazy for dreaming big, or anything else that doesn’t support your goals. Despite what negative comments others tell you or that you tell yourself, you are good enough, and, so long as you stay confident in your ambitions, you will achieve more than you’ve ever thought possible.
5. Races end, but running doesn’t
The day will come when you have beat your personal best during a 5K, half-marathon, or maybe even a marathon, but every runner knows that this isn’t the end to training. Meeting your goals is an incredible feeling, especially when you exceed them, but that doesn’t mean the challenge is over; it means a new one is beginning. When you accomplish anything in life, it’s the closing of a door that has led you to the entrance to a new one, and this ceaseless hallway of doors is the pathway to your happiness.
Whether you are a seasoned runner or have just decided to take a stride into the running world, there are numerus things you can and will learn from running. So run often, run long, and, most importantly, never outrun your love for running.