This Is Your Journey

Good day friends! Time to get over that hump, its Wednesday! These days, I’ve been thinking a lot about the reactions I get from people when we discuss my running. Of course there is always the comments like “dude you are crazy” or “running is just boring for me”. Those are to be expected. Then there are those that claim not to have the time or will blame something else for them to avoid running all together. Then there is the bunch that confuse me with the following comment: “I’m not fast enough, so why bother”.

When I hear that comment, or something similar, it’s like a punch in the gut. My first reaction is to say, “you know you are right, I’m going to stop running because I’m not fast enough either”.

There are tons of people faster than me. So I wonder, why compare yourself to anyone at all? This is your own journey. It’s my journey also. My journey will be completely different from yours. There may be some similarities but at the end it’s customized to you and me.

My journey three years ago started when I was holding onto my daughter’s stroller to use it as a walker in Disney World because excess weight had given me bad plantar fasciitis and the pain caused me to hold onto the stroller, just to walk! My journey started when I got home from Disney. Lose the weight with exercise. I took small steps. Walking, jogging, stopping even during my running as my foot got thru the discomfort. Time on my watch didn’t matter. What mattered was dropping the weight.

When the weight started to go down, the satisfaction of a walk or a jog felt so euphoric. It was like a drug. An exercise high if you will. I never wanted to give this drug up. Walks became jogs and jogs became runs. Never since HS did I ever think I would run as much as I do now, however that journey has led me here.

Going back to the concept of being fast enough, did it matter how fast I was going to walk around my block three years ago when I started my journey 40 pounds heavier? Not at all. My eyes were set on losing that weight. My daughter was 5 at the time. Dad wasn’t about to be slowed down at this age because of some excess weight and ankle issues. When you put all of this into perspective, ask yourself instead, ‘are you fast enough to make the decision to do something better for yourself before too much time passes or before its too late?’ That’s where the question lies. That’s where you question ‘your speed’. Never mind how far others are running or how fast they are running it. They aren’t on your journey. Only you are!

Further what awaits you once you decide to take on ‘your journey’ is a transformation into a better version of yourself than ever before. For many, the physical aspects of your journey will bring you a healthier, stronger and more fit self. However that’s not the only transformation you will see. I talked about that ‘fitness high’. Oh its real…it is very real! Runners can tell you about their ‘runner’s high’ also. For me it is a feeling like no other and it isn’t one that I feel only when I run fast or I set a personal best at a distance. I feel it every time I run. You may not feel it initially but it always comes around! How I wish more people would experience this – but they don’t because mentally they have put up a road block that won’t allow them this euphoria.

Now that I’ve explained why time doesn’t make a difference, I hope I have been able to push some of you out there to stop doubting and questioning yourselves! Sometimes the mind is our worst enemy. Ironically enough, just yesterday I spent the whole day thinking of a quote that a great American Olympic distance runner, Kara Goucher, said back in 2013. I will leave you with a graphic of that quote below and implore you to start your own journey now!!

Pushing Thru The Pain For The Euphoria

Each and every time I start to get dressed for a run, I utter to myself, “Man I don’t want to go on this run”. Even once I am stretched out and start hitting the pavement, I still harbor the same resentment for pretty much the entire first mile. But somewhere along the way, those feelings of angst start to dissipate. Maybe it’s the thoughts of every day life that start running thru my head, or perhaps it’s the song on my headphones, or the surroundings I pass that make me forget that I am running. And even in the rarest of occasions, if I am just having a bad day of running and I feel crappy the entire run, there is one thing that has never failed to happen – the sense of accomplishment that I have when I am done!

For some of us that do we run because we “think we have to”. While running is a great way to stay fit, ever try approaching it as a way to set goals for yourself? For me, it’s been a new way to push yourself and the fun thing is that you can set new goals for yourself every day whether they or short term or long term goals. No matter what it is in life, achieving any type of goal is extremely gratifying isn’t it? The next time you run, don’t just hop on a treadmill or run around the block, set a goal instead. Set a mile as an initial goal. Then change it next time to either be longer or faster. For folks that have been running a while, set a calendar for yourself and mix your running experiences up.

Goal crushing is EUPHORIC! To look back and see what you’ve done and feel the euphoria is tremendous! To have run a bit while you were crushing goals is not only a benefit to your mind and self esteem but to that body of yours as well!

So what are my goals? Well 4 years ago, I just wanted to lose weight. After a year, running was helping me to lose weight but I started to fall in love with running again because of the gratifying feelings I felt after my runs. So I signed up for the NYC Marathon lotteries for a couple of years. Last year I got tired of being rejected for entry to the race. So I signed up for the NYC Half Marathon lottery and got accepted into that. Now my goal became training for that half marathon. From then, I’ve kept scheduling races for myself and they have served as my goals on a consistent basis.

Now back to you guys. Looking at yourself and I am sure you are all busy with day to day responsibilities, maybe races are not achievable goals right now but focus perhaps on setting aside time for you to workout and run just a little. Build on your goals from there . You can do it. The EUPHORIA awaits you. Don’t let others enjoy it while you cling to the same hapless feelings of the everyday monotony!

Get out there, put one front in front of the other and RUN!