When I used to think about running, I pictured a meme girl. She’s got a perfect pony tail, her sports bra matches her shoe laces and she somehow manages to make jostling and panting look sexy instead of kind of crazy. She’s setting a new pace and training for some awesome race (so the story in my head goes), maybe meeting up with friends in San Fran for a marathon. While I wish this girl no ill will, (your pony is fierce) I am not her. The idea of not being her kept me from running. I stopped a lot. I was easily distracted. And sometimes I couldn’t even get myself out of the door.
If you are a hard core “run or die” kind of person, my “tips” may not be for you. But if you find yourself happy you went running but struggling to get out the door, perhaps I might be of help. Also feel free to liberally apply this advice to other forms of exercise as needed. Here is what I do.
- I very rarely set out for “a run.” I know that seems counter-intuitive, but most days if I tell myself I’m “going for a run,” I will find 465 tiny reasons that add up to not getting out of bed at all. These are the days I curse my bladder for making me move because it takes away some of my excuses. So instead, I set out to move. Usually telling myself I’ll go for a walk. My dog LOVES walks and runs of any kind so it’s an easy yes. And once I get moving, I almost always opt to do more.
- I mix it up. I run intervals. I listen to different kinds of music. I’ll skip or do agility drills. I sprint. I pump my arms like a mall walker. I do whatever I want because it’s my time to do just that. And I don’t judge if it was the “perfect” run, or the most “fat burningest” or whatever I used to think I was supposed to measure it on. I just enjoy myself and keep from being bored.
- I run like a 5 year old. I have literally followed butterflies. This morning I saw a rainbow and skipped. I get really excited about songs on my playlist and heaven help me, I dance. I allow myself to notice, be distracted by, and enjoy every thing around me. Flowers, worms, smells, the clouds. I’m playing! It never takes away from the workout and it always lifts my spirits.
- Mostly, I let it be my own thing. It doesn’t have to look like, feel like, sound like any one else’s workout. For me and my goals, it doesn’t even have to “beat my yesterday.” It gets to stand alone and be whatever I need that day. My whole body just relaxed at the sentiment of honoring my own needs. That’s important.
As always, take what you need and leave the rest. To shiny things, good mornings and following the beat of your own drum.