Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lessons from running

Running has taught me, perhaps more than anything else, that there's no reason to fear starting lines... or other new beginnings.
Endurance -
the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite
fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina

The beginning of a new school season always reminds me of cross country. And when I think of cross country, I think of endurance and the lessons I learned from running so many miles and races.

Some races were good. Some were bad. Some were awesome!

I have used those race lessons several times since those 'running days' and would like to share a few:

First, if you want to be good at something, you have to put in the practice - the miles, the effort and the will to win. Several years ago, my sister and I decided to run a cross country alumni race together. She was young and in shape and I was older and not in shape. What was I thinking? 3.1 miles up and down a course filled with hills and lots of spectators. Let's just say my sister left me in the dust and I finished but that was the hardest race I've ever run! Lesson learned: Practice and prepare!

Second, believe you can. Most often, we don't start something new or take risks because we doubt ourselves and our abilities. We convince ourselves that we can't and make excuses to support those beliefs. Next time you find yourself in the 'doubt zone', say this out loud: I think I CAN! And then do something to prove you can. Take that first step and build momentum with your belief. Before you know it, you'll be running at the top and looking back thinking: WOW! So glad I chose to believe. Lesson learned:  Believe and run forward!
Third, when you have a bad race, remind yourself that you can always do better next time. Life is full of challenges. If everyday was full of rainbows and sunshine, we would never learn to fully appreciate them. We need the 'rain' and 'stormy' times to help us appreciate the sunshine. Lesson learned: Be patient and kind with yourself on the tough, bad 'race' days. And then try harder next time.
Finally, Endure to the end. No matter what is going on in your life it pays to endure to the end. I'm not talking about staying or enduring an abusive relationship - or in something that is bringing you down in an emotional, negative way. I'm talking about never giving up. Never give up on your dreams, on your beliefs, or your will to succeed. Anything that is worth having, takes work, effort and endurance. We all have days when we want to throw in the towel, or quit the 'race'. Don't. The best feeling is crossing the finish line and saying to yourself: "I gave it my all!" or "I did my very best." Lesson learned: Run your race. Don't give up and keep moving forward!

PS: I'm cheering for you to run your race and succeed!
You CAN do this ...


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