“I Run For _____:” 7 Life Lessons Learned from Your Average Morning Run
“I run for MORE.” More challenges, more energy, more muscle, more miles, more confidence, more steps forward…literally and metaphorically. Identify your cause. Articulate your why. Why do you run? And what can you learn from listening to your body, heart, and mind? Here are a few key life lessons I learned from this morning’s average run:
1. Lose yourself. Give yourself permission to think about anything. Let your mind wander. Embrace a random stream of consciousness. Your morning run may be the only time of day to liberate your mind and think free thoughts. Give into it; you never know what new and interesting ideas may develop!
2. Dogs are a lot more polite than people; they move out of your way. And they are always happy to see you!
3. Restrain from checking your email mid-run. Your overwhelming inbox and Google Calendar reminders will be waiting for you after your glorious shower and healthy breakfast. And even emails and long to-do lists look good after a run.
4. As soon as your run ends and you have sufficiently cooled down your muscles with a light jog/walk, stop all movement and stand completely still for exactly one minute. Soak up the endorphins that will surge through your body, listen to your heart beat as your pulse begins to slow, and feel the blood race through your body. Take this moment to empty your mind and be present in your body. After one minute has elapsed, set an intention for your day, your night, or your next run.
5. Every run is an achievement and a positive step forward. At work or school, one can complete tasks and accomplish goals, but your to-do list will continue to grow. During a run, you check the miles off. Once you run them, they are behind you. Don’t look back and analyze your split for each mile. With every step you take, you are moving closer to home, to breakfast, to your goals, and to a more fulfilling day.
6. Write down all of your thoughts after a run. You may develop a brilliant idea for a project or an innovative thought for your Wednesday morning presentation. However, after breakfast and a shower, those ideas, thoughts, and questions may be lost forever. Keep a pad and paper next to your foam roller, so you can relax the tension in your muscles, while jotting down your new genius ideas!
7. Be aware of your surroundings internally and externally. Check in with your body and regulate your breathing. Every so often count your inhales and exhales to ensure that your body is getting enough oxygen. Feel the ground. Push through your stride and pay attention to how your feet land on the pavement. Be cognizant of everything and everyone in your path. Wave to runners, babies, and puppies. Avoid uneven surfaces and rocky terrain in order to prevent injury. Stay connected to your running path.
Before your next run, take a moment to ponder. Fill in the blank. “I run for _____.” Whether it’s National Running Day, your birthday, or a random Tuesday, think about it…what do you run for? What lessons do you learn?
Check out more of Ashley’s fitness and nutrition tips on her blog, Fit & Focused U.