The challenges, gifts and accomplishments we find in running parallel our everyday lives. Here are some lessons we can all learn about life from running.
1. Control what you can, and let the rest go. During training time, you have to put in all that you can and prepare yourself well for the upcoming test, but when it comes time to taper, it’s also time to just let things go and trust that you’ve done all that you can do, and that when you face the test, you will prevail because of the hard work you put in.
2. Be patient. When you’re injured, it’s so hard to sit back and relax while your body heals, but being patient and allowing your body to heal itself the way it was made to will help you avoid hurting yourself even worse. In other areas of life as well, being patient will allow the good things to come to you and you won’t end up missing things because you’re always rushing.
Image credit: flickr/nathaninsandiego
3. This too shall pass. I’ve faced as many highs and lows while running as I have in life. Some days are beyond amazing while other days are simply horrible. Keeping a positive mindset will get you through anything. On the bad days, remember that it’s not going to be that way forever and that soon, you will rise again and better things will come. On the best days, remember those bad days and how far you’ve come, while keeping in mind that the high won’t last forever.
- Sometimes the only thing holding you back is your mind. Nothing is truer for runners than how much impact the mind has on the body’s ability to perform. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” Take the risk. Push that extra mile. Believe it can happen and it just might.
- Comparison is the thief of joy. In this day and age, and especially with the barrage of social media, it has become instantaneously easy to compare ourselves to others. As runners, we do this too. All that comparison does is make us feel worse or superior in a way that’s not healthy. Just know that there will always be someone faster than you and someone slower than you. In life, your mission is to live up to your potential, no one else’s.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. One of the best life lessons I have ever learned is to laugh at myself. Most of the time, we are much harder on ourselves than anyone is on us. In life, as with our running, if we can learn to ease up on ourselves a bit and enjoy the journey more, we will certainly find greater satisfaction and happiness.