The one thing that inspired me to become a “real runner” is a podcast called, “Run, Selfie, Repeat.” It’s put together by a very cool millennial, named Kelly Roberts. After a terrible family tragedy, she was struggling with life and decided to take up running. Her blog and podcast are about “life with a side of running,” and I’ll tell you this: I’d hire Kelly as my shrink if I didn’t already have one.
Kelly often reflects on how running mirrors the issues we face in our everyday lives, which is something I can totally relate to.
When I’m on a run, I feel overwhelmed. I get panicky because I’m struggling, mentally and physically. My instinct is to either stop or run faster. Why?! Why not just slow TF down? I’m sure you’re all thinking, “Duh,” but for me, this was an epiphany.
I also feel vulnerable and self-conscious when I run. Jesus, I look like a hobbling, pregnant toad. Why are my thighs so…thigh-looking? Damn b*tch, you’re slow. Look at the real runners that just lapped your pushing-40 ass. These thoughts aren’t about running—they’re about how I feel about ME. They reflect my everyday insecurities and situations that make me feel VULNERABLE; running just happened to shed light on them. But how can you feel better when you’re not aware of why you’re feeling badly? Whoomp, there it is. Go on a run, folks.
So, after I finish running, I never miss an opportunity to brag about it on Facebook. I like affirmation. Maybe too much? Wait, that wasn’t a question. While I love (repeat, LOVE) the runner’s high (and that’s endorphins, people) and the feeling of accomplishment, affirmation is kind of the icing on the cake. Not gonna lie. But is seeking affirmation too often ok? Not sure.
Last week was an awesome running week because I hit three miles for the first time. Ever. “So why not four this week?” I wondered. I need to work on being patient because I didn’t just wake up one morning and knock out three miles; I had to work up to it. I had to build endurance and get over the I’m-gonna-f*cking-die-@-1.5 miles mental block. This took time. In fact, it took me a few years of starting and stopping. So for now—in this moment—it’s important to celebrate that three miles, take a step back and realize, this is enough: You are enough.
And this brings me to my last precious pearl: life requires maintenance, and so does running. If you aren’t consistent, you will slip. It’s basic. Like if you don’t brush your teeth often enough, they’ll turn yellow. If you stop and start running like I did, you probably won’t get anywhere.
So this weekend, I’m running my first 5k—yikes! My goals are to stop with the negative self-talk and turn the hobbling, pregnant toad into visions of a swift, strong unicorn. Forte et gratum.
Have an awesome week, y’all!