I was running this morning and as usual I started reflecting! Why am I out here running? What is is about running that’s so great? What has it added to my life?
Here are 12 things running has given me and I’d love to know yours …
1. Self belief. I can do things I didn’t think I could do. Setting and achieving goals in running has shown me that I can do whatever I put my mind to if I’m prepared to put in the work.
2. Self esteem. I feel good about myself. Being fit and strong and knowing I can do hard things helps me to respect myself and be confident in my abilities.
3. Fulfilment. Knowing I can help others to start and keep running gives me purpose, satisfaction and a drive to keep running.
4. Time management skills. To fit running in I had to learn to look after my time and get used to finding windows where I could run. I’ve increased my productivity, that’s for sure.
5. Friends. I have some incredible people in my life that I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t started running and the new connections continue.
6. A new career. Ah, yes, well, that was unexpected. Not in any way part of the plan when I started running but that just shows you the power!
7. A hobby. I have something that I enjoy, that I can read about, get lost in and of course, something to say when people ask me what I want for Christmas.
8. Travel opportunities. It started as days out to local races, then national races, quickly followed by international races and now I travel all over the world with 261 Fearless teaching and speaking about running. Travel really expands the mind in so many ways.
9. A love of the seasons. Running takes you right into nature and when you’re running the same routes you notice the small things, the buds popping out or the beauty of an icy cobweb. I appreciate my surroundings and the way they change through the year in a new way.
10. Respect for my body. Running has made me realise I have to look after my body, nourish it and rest it to get the best out of it. I’m grateful for it, it’s powerful and beautiful. In a world where appearances seem to matter so much, I love my body for what it can do.
11. A coping mechanism. This is a big one! Life does throw things at you. I run when I’m happy, sad, stressed, excited. It keeps me level and helps me to think straight and solve problems too. It’s a healthy coping mechanism if I keep it in check and don’t over do it.
12. Headspace. Running is peace, calm and quiet. It’s my meditation. It allows me to think, plan and dream. It’s just me and the road. I like to run with friends but I also like to run alone to be able to tune into my deepest thoughts and intuition.
I realise I could go on for ever! I haven’t even covered inspiration, role models, energy, a grounding and there’s more too.
With all of these gifts, it’s easy to see why it’s so hard when you can’t run. Maybe you’ve been advised not to or it’s just become difficult for some reason. Take away my running and so much else goes with it. Yes, I know it’s possible to get some of these benefits elsewhere, open water swimming, cycling, meditation etc but for me, running is the easiest, most time efficient and enjoyable way to get all of this. So, if running is difficult for you at present, whether due to injury, the perimenopause, family or work pressures etc then I hear you. I feel for you. I really do. But hang in there. Through my books, blogs and videos I’m trying to help you keep running and overcome the barriers in your way. Running will always be there for you. And, if you’re loving your running at the moment and reaping some of these benefits then let’s celebrate the gift of running together!
Do share your reasons with me – here on the blog or on social media. I really want to know what running has given you.
Other – drjulietmcgrattan.com