Thursday, February 5, 2015

How Running Has Changed Me

In all honesty, I wasn't planning a post today. I feel like I'm losing my momentum with blogging. A lot of it has to do with not being able to run right now. You'd think I'd turn back to blogging as an outlet. But, I feel like such a Debbie Downer that I don't really want to use this space for that. Runners all get injured. Been there, done that. No one wants to read about how down and out someone is. I mean, you've been there too as a runner. You get it, but guess what, you're not the only one who's been through it.

But, after reading Katie at Moms Little Running Buddies post The Running Effect: How Has Running Changed You? I was inspired to write.

Maybe not running means I can reflect on exactly why this injury has me so down. It's not just not being able to run and burn off some calories. Not at all. It's about not being able to do the one thing that brings me so much peace and joy and release. Running has changed me in many ways over the years, especially when I actually accepted the fact that I was, indeed, a runner.

Confidence

I think this has been one of the biggest changes for me. I tend to be a cheerleader for everyone around me. I always put so much faith into others and their abilities, but I don't always believe in my own.

Running has given me a sense of confidence in myself. A chance to believe in myself even. Without that sense of confidence, I never would have completed a full marathon. But, I finally believed enough in myself.



Perseverance

As a runner, how can you not learn more about perseverance? Running is not always sunshine and rainbows. Any runner will tell you that. So why go back time and time again? Why go farther or faster for apparently no reason? And how do you force yourself to keep going when every fiber of your being wants to simply stop?

You know the rewards for persevering. You know that feeling of complete accomplishment, the pride. I'm definitely a stubborn person by nature, so maybe that's partially why I like the challenge of running. So maybe running didn't change me in this respect all that much just because of who I am by nature. But then again, it gave me focus.

Strength

As a former dance, I knew I was physically strong. As I began to lift weights, I knew I was growing even stronger of course, developing and re-shaping my muscles. But running has changed my idea of strength as well. It's not just being physically strong, it's also being mentally strong. Perhaps strength goes along with perseverance and confidence in this case?

Beauty

Running made me truly appreciate the beauty of nature, the absolute wonder of a sunrise, even the appreciation of a gray day because that makes a clear day that much crisper. It's also change my idea of myself and beauty. I am not a particularly pretty runner in that I sweat, a lot. I have a weird thing I do with my left hand. During a race I look like I'm grimacing usually even if I swear I'm smiling (note to self, don't attempt to smile for a camera). But when I'm running, that's when I feel the most beautiful.