Lessons learned from running

For some unexplained reason, this post was really hard to write. When I wrote my initial draft (and maybe the other writers out there reading this can agree) it just didn’t feel…..right. You know that feeling? When you write something and afterwards, you feel like it’s not complete. If you were to get a grade, it would pass, but it’s definitely not your best work. I thought, “Okay, when I get this edited and this vibe gets picked up, then I will redo this post.” Sure enough, Tolga’s feedback was exactly this. He said it was good, but that my voice didn’t shine through. I was rushing to finish this post to make sure I stay on schedule and that ended up failing. Nice life lesson learned through this; if it doesn’t feel right and you’re simply pushing through to finish, it’s often not a reflection of your best self. It’s best to take a breath and start over.

Writing about finishing a bucket list item shouldn’t have been that hard. I think this was so hard to write because it was simply more than a check-mark on a list. Training for, traveling to and running the lululemon Seawheeze ½ marathon was my therapy for the past nine months. There was so much attached to this race; working with a running coach to get myself back into shape, establishing and sticking to a consistent fitness schedule, traveling with my family to Vancouver for the race and experiencing the race weekend provided much needed distraction and renewed purpose in my life. It was during my training runs that I decided that I needed to leave my full-time job for part-time work. When I cried during my first hill training session in four years due to feelings of exhaustion, failure and helpless, I learned no matter how big the hurdle, as long as I put one foot in front of the other and didn’t quit, I would be able to accomplish big things. I relied heavily on my support system to get me through training and couldn’t have done this without them. I used running as a way to manage my depression and grief. Completing this race was so much more than a check mark, it was in some way, a life changing moment.

For those of you who have completed a bucket list item can probably agree with me. The exhilaration of completing something so amazing and incredible helps propel you to a better life. Why would you want to go back to mediocrity once you see what great things you can do? Completing a life goal does cost money but with smart planning and budgeting, you can make it happen. What are your priorities? What makes you smile? When life sucks, what is your motivation for putting one foot in front of other? Your goal may seem impossible, but by simply starting one small thing towards that path, you are already successful.

You’ll see this success snowball into different areas of your life. From my training, I have a renewed sense of health and fitness and use it as a means to manage my mental health. I use running for my thinking time, to help process and work through my issues and problems. What do you do to help you process? What do you do for stress management? I know when I am stressed, I spend money, as this was reflective in expense tracking. Based on conversations with others, this is a popular way we all deal with stress.

Running along the seawall, with the ocean and mountains right beside me and seeing my family holding posters and cheering me on, words really can’t explain how amazing that felt. To have my daughter see her mama run with other strong women and accomplish this goal made the run that much more memorable. Make your goals not just about you, but think about how it can influence your village. When they see you do incredible things it may become contagious and encourage others to achieve great things.

Running has become my saving grace. What’s yours? I would LOVE to hear yours! Let me know and we can encourage one another. Together, lets bring some light back to a world continuously battling darkness.


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