Friday, January 4, 2013

Running


 
I wonder how people decide what to write about on their blog? I wonder what constitutes value for others and what is considered the dreaded, “TMI?” I really hope you find some tiny bit of value in the details of my life that I share. I have always had to learn things the hard way and if the holes I have fallen in (and continue to crawl out of!) give other people a heads up then I guess putting myself out there is worth it!

So I’ve decided running changes you from the inside out. Since I started running I’ve made huge strides just as much mentally and emotionally as I have physically. It’s been amazing and continues to be a learning process.
I remember my very first run a year ago. I was out of breath, frustrated and convinced I’d never make it. I remember vividly feeling fearful and weak. Somewhere during the past year, after multiple stops & starts, I’ve learned to overcome most of those fears. I’ve encountered fears of success & failure, fears of being vulnerable & being attractive again, fears of being weak & I suppose being strong too, and fears of facing my past and embracing my future.

My biggest fear stemmed from old body image stuff. It was rooted in my late teenage years. Looking good equated to being bad in my unconscious mind. My conscious mind knew well this was false but getting it in my heart and being was much more difficult. It has taken me years to admit that out loud.  If I looked good and something bad happened to me, it meant it was my fault. I had done something wrong or somehow attracted my nightmare. That translated into the message, “It’s not safe to look good and be healthy.”  Shame sucks.

Running strengthens your body to face those fears and lots of others. You start to reach goals in distance and eventually you transfer that ability into other areas of life without even realizing it. You get braver. If I can meet a goal of running 5 miles maybe, just maybe, I can apply for that job. The dream you secretly always wanted doesn’t seem so unattainable. You slowly hold your head a little higher and you stand a little straighter. You start to appreciate your strength and rely on yourself rather than others. You ask for advice less. You stop the wishy- washy attitude. You verbalize your preferences. You realize you have preferences! You speak louder. People notice you suddenly as if you just appeared out of nowhere. You start looking people in the eye and you aren’t the first to look away anymore. And before long you look in the mirror and you start to like yourself for not only the image you see reflecting back but more importantly for the image you feel deep in your soul. In fact, you start to feel your soul. You start to realize what makes you happy and you just do it without apology or explanation. You uncover and pursue dreams that have been on the back burner for years buried in excuses and failed attempts. You start to give and receive love from a place you never even knew existed. You try to control less and you let go more. And life just starts moving to your new rhythm and your new pace. And perhaps most importantly, you finally start to trust your unique rhythm and pace and you finally accept that what’s meant to be will just be.
Running changes you from the inside out. Happy Friday!