I have taken up running over a year ago. I used to work out regularly but only indoors, no running was really involved just walking on the treadmill. So when I heard of a new group called Alex Runners in Alexandria where I lived, promoting and encouraging people to run, I instantly joined.
At first, I was more of walking than running. Outdoor activities are more challenging than their indoor equivalents. You have many factors adding challenge to your run: heat, wind, elevations and all. It was not really an easy job as I had imagined it would be, thinking that I have always been active so how hard could this be? Well… it was pretty hard I have to say. However, I also have to say that it has been worth all the sweat and effort. I have actually come to realize that there is more to running than running. During my runs and while pushing myself to those “finish lines” I have often contemplated on how the process resembled our everyday life. I could come up with 7 similarities:
- Take the first step: whether it’s an early morning run where I have to get up at 5 am or late evening run where I am already exhausted from a long work day, I just talk myself into making it to the start line and the finish line will be a consequence. It can be a project that you want to start and have been postponing since forever for no obvious reason. Just get started, you can never finish something if you never start it.
- Keep going: especially when I’m pushing myself to do more either a longer distance or a faster pace, I often find it very challenging to keep going till the end. I never stop though, even if I’m only walking, I just keep going. Don’t give up on something you have started when you are passionate about it just because you are tired. You can always slow down but never quit.
- Challenge yourself: When I first started running I never thought I could go that far, I never thought I could keep it up and would want to achieve more even when I’m injured. Whenever I become comfortable with a certain distance, I want to do more. And even though I almost always question my ability to do it, the feeling I get after I actually achieve my goal is indescribable. We always underestimate our capabilities and what we can achieve.
- Keep working on the process and the technique: There is always something to enhance and to do better in order to get better results. When it comes to running it can be your posture, your strike or your breathing technique.
- Enjoy your path: Even when you are struggling to make it to the finish line, enjoy your route. I have often found that through any experience we go through, the journey is more important than the destination. The people you meet and the “adventures” you go through; these are the things that make it all worthwhile.
- Get your mind prepared first: Our minds are very powerful tools. It’s either we run our minds or they run us. Take control over your mind and let it tell your body what to do. Like Osho puts it in his book title: “The Mind: a beautiful servant, a dangerous master”.
- It’s always hardest to run that last mile: And that’s exactly when you need to keep going the most because that is when you are closest to your finish line.