Why do I love it so much? Finding my why with running.
I've been asking myself lately why running is so important to me.
Why do I love it so much?
If I love to move, why not yoga or hiking or cycling?
What is it about running that has captivated my attention and become an integral part of identity?
There are certainly many aspects of running that appeal to me: I love getting outside. I enjoy the rigors of a training schedule. I like the simplicity of just grabbing a pair of shoes and hitting the road or trail. I like that my feet can take me anywhere. And then there's the people I've met through the sport, some have become some of my closest friends and the community is positive and supportive. There are so many reasons to love running, but what it really comes down to, the reasons I choose running over every other form of movement is because...
...it has shown me that I can push past any limitations, ones I've placed on myself or ones that others have placed on me.
There are probably plenty of other activities out there that could teach me to push past limitations, but for some reason the lessons from running are the ones that have stuck the most.
Maybe it's because I'm a kinetic learner? In high school I used to pace my room, a deck of 3x5 cards in hand, reciting facts for my AP US History exam. Later while taking the test I'd recall facts based on where I'd been standing in my room, somehow the spacial imagery would lead me to remember the correct answer.
Maybe I have to be on the move for things to really sink in? For me to really understand the lessons I'm meant to be learning.
Somehow willing myself to cross the finish line of my first marathon gave me hope that if I could do that, maybe I really could fully recover from an eating disorder.
When I qualified for Boston, when I placed third at the Snowshoe National Championships, when I ran my goal time at the Mount Washington Road Race-those experiences taught me that impossible goals really are possible with hard work and persistence.
Even the disappointing finishes are there to reinforce the idea that my mind controls what plays out on the road or trail: my only limitations are the ones I place on myself.
And all these experiences parallel with life.
I've learned to questions limitations I perceive in my parenting ability or in my businesses ideas or in relationships.
Often times the limitations I've perceived are really my own fear materializing as a road block. If a hill or a mountain stands in the way of where you want to be, it's best to embrace it and the difficulty it presents than to turn and walk away declaring it impossible.
[Tweet "Limitations I've perceived are my own fear materialzing as a road block. - @runfargirl #embracethehill #running"]
The journey up and over the mountain, though it may be a struggle, will teach you more than trying to find a different path with less resistance.
Running has taught me to press into the discomfort and struggle, because every time I have I've surprised myself, pushed past perceived limits and grown exponentially in the process.
My affinity for running probably comes from the fact that I feel as if it has shaped me, in learning to push through limitations I've gained a confidence I once envied.
Hiding in the shadows I never thought I was good enough. That was the anthem of my life through middle school, high school, college and into my early adulthood. A striving, over achieving perfectionist who was never enough. I wondered at the confidence of others because all I could think about were my failures and short comings. Now I know that the faults and deficits I obsessed about were simply a series of limitations I had constructed.
Years later and I see the struggle with failure as an opportunity for growth, and deficits in my own knowledge or skill as a chance to ask for help and learn from others. Wisdom earned through time and experience certainly, but running has been a catalyst in the transformation.
This experience with running is one of the primary reasons why I put all my energy and effort into Rise.Run.Retreat. I love brining women together to share the transformative experience of running, push through limitations with the encouragement of others and find inspiration in each other's journey. I'm excited for what 2019 has in store for Rise.Run.Retreat. and can't wait to share it with you next week!
Why do you love running? What keeps you coming back to it even after disappointment or injury?
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Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com