fitness

Becoming A Runner

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Me 6 months ago: Huffing and puffing, stops, bends over, sucks in air, almost pukes. “I hate running, why am I doing this?”

Me now: Huffing and puffing, keeps going. “I hate running, but I love that I’m doing it.”

How I made it from one point to the other can be summed up in one word, stubbornness. Let’s call it a gift I was born with. If I start something I will become as good at it as I possibly can or die trying. And since I’m relatively healthy there’s a slim chance that I’ll die running.

I wanted to be more fit and healthy. I chose running because it’s something I thought I could never do. Because I live by my favorite quote:

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

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But I didn’t start with a lot of confidence. And some days the excuses kept me in bed or on the couch. Excuses I learned to overcome the more I ran and the more confident I became. I turned some common excuses into reasons for running.

Excuse: I’m tired. >>> Reason: I’m tired.

When I’m exercising regularly I have so much more energy throughout the day.

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Excuse: The weather is bad. >>> Reason: The weather will never be perfect.

And the more I use that excuse the longer it will be until I get back out there.

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Excuse: I have kids. I don’t have time. >>> Reason: I have kids. I want to set a good example.

Now my kids get excited to participate in 1 Mile runs at mommy and daddy’s 5K races.

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Excuse: I can’t. >>> Reason: I can.

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Excuse: I won’t be good at it. >>> Reason: I don’t need to be good at it for it to be good for me.

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When I finally decided to really go for it, there were things that helped me. Things I couldn’t have succeeded without.

1- Good running shoes

These don’t have to be expensive, but they should be good quality. I did research on what was best for running and my feet and found the perfect pair at an outlet store.

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2- Running app

I need structured guidance so I turned to an app that cost just $2.99,  Couch To 5K. It took all the guess-work out of how to get started. And it helped keep me on track and avoid feeling like I was all alone or doing it wrong. There are so many free and frugal apps that can help. Click here to check out my previous post with a great list!

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3- Encouragement from loved ones and even social media

Telling people you’re embarking on a personal journey like this is scary. It means you can be held accountable, either by them or by yourself to avoid embarrassment. And that’s exactly why you should do it.

And encouragement doesn’t just come from people. It may sound silly but there are some awesome Instagram accounts that post daily inspirational messages for runners. Any little thing to push you along is worth it.

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4- Losing the fear of being a ‘bad runner’

Once you let go of any dreams of being a great runner who wins awards and admiration, you start doing it just for yourself and the health and emotional benefits.

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Now 6 months in, after wrestling with the excuses and getting the right tools and motivation I needed, I call myself a runner.

I’m not a runner because I can run a 5K in under 30 minutes. Because I can’t. Yet.

I’m not a runner because I can run a marathon. I probably never will. Ever.

I’m a runner because I put my shoes on and I walk outside and I put one foot in front of the other and I try and I push. And I love myself afterwards for doing it.

Some days my shins and calves hurt so bad I could cry.

Some days I can’t breathe and think I’m going to puke.

Some days that all happens at the same time.

Which probably doesn’t encourage you to run..

But what should encourage you is that I do it anyway because I love myself..

And I must do the things I think I cannot do.

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