Finding Your Best Self Through Running

The Road

I recently had to take a week off running due to back pain, and the most likely culprit…grueling snow fort-making. What adult doesn’t secretly want to build a full-out igloo? During my running-free week, my mind was fuzzier, my mood was down, and I felt gross.  My brain moved to low gear and every task took longer. Here I was with extra time, and yet I was less productive in getting my tasks accomplished.

A full week without running pushed me back toward the groundhog grind, but as soon as I started running again, everything fell back into place. Once again, I was able to find the best version of myself through running. Rise above the grind and enjoy: Finding Your Best Self Through Running.

Finding Your Best Self Through Running: The Run

The Warm Up

Running brings you to another world devoid of any noise or distractions. It is a quiet solitude where you can hear your thoughts.  But these thoughts are different from the ones you had back on Earth. They are not anxiety-ridden or jam-packed with to-do lists. In this new world, your mind is calm, and your thoughts get clearer with each stride.

It’s just you, your mind and body, and the road. The muscles in your body push you forward into the open road, where in your mind you can go anywhere you want. Absent is the quicksand we find our thoughts stuck in, and with each step, the paralyzing thoughts dissipate. As your body moves forward, so does your mind. A brand-new space in your mind is created out of nothing, giving you room to look ahead, to look beyond; to dream.

The Run

We are brought into a paradise in our minds where we are free of self-doubt, obstacles, and criticism. Any negativity we were holding on to is stripped away as we breeze past one mile. As we enter the second mile, we are filled with confidence and inner strength, and we know with our whole being, anything is attainable.

Our new world is full of endless possibilities. In this new mindset, we look at what our lives could be if nothing was stopping us from going after what we really want. We get to ask our what-ifs. What if we had all the confidence in the world? What if we were fearless? What if we weren’t worried about what anyone thought? What if we didn’t let any negativity push us down? What could we achieve?

The answers and even the questions are often unimaginable when we are trapped under the spell of the day-to-day grind. But here, in our alternative universe, we can think of the unimaginable, and the best part is it feels completely within reach. We are inspired to think bigger than ourselves and are boundless of any obstacles. It is here in this state where we find the best version of ourselves. We find our authentic selves where we are filled with love and the purest of goals and dreams. It is who we are deep down when we are fearless.

The Cool Down

As the cooldown begins, you are grateful for what your mind and body accomplished, but you know it’s time to come back down to Earth. It may have been a challenge to get off the couch to go for a run, and perhaps the workout was challenging today. However, the real challenge is not committing to going for a run, nor the run itself.

The ultimate challenge is finding a way to take the new world you found on your run and bring it back down to Earth. It’s finding a way to take that best version of yourself and to bring it home, to work, and to your relationships. It’s finding a way to live your best life always. It’s keeping a hold of the inner strength and the confidence you found and utilizing it in a positive way through action and not abandoning it back on the road.

When your run concludes, you know at some point…maybe within minutes, hours, or if you’re lucky maybe even days, the self-doubt, the outside criticism, the to-do lists, the grind…will all come flooding back in. But even if we can hold on to the tiniest piece of the world we found, we will be better for it. Then the next time we run, we can bring back another piece, and slowly, ever so slightly, with courage and perseverance, our lives will grow fuller, and we can radiate it outward, so the world can be just a tiny bit better too. We must find our starting line somewhere.

Thank You for Reading Finding Your Best Self Through Running!

If you are interested in giving running a try, check with a medical professional to verify running is a safe option for you. If running is not for you, make sure you have your own hobby you love that keeps your world spinning and reminds you that the world is bigger than the day-to-day grind.

Thank you for reading Finding Your Best Self Through Running! Now we want to hear from you. Do you enjoy running or are you counting the minutes until it is over? Or are you more of a fan of walking or hiking? Do you have a passion that allows you to be your best self?

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2 responses to “Finding Your Best Self Through Running”

  1. Richard McGrath Avatar
    Richard McGrath

    Walking is a good alternative if running is not for you !

  2. Shannon Z Sawyer Avatar
    Shannon Z Sawyer

    You make running sound like meditation – beautiful!

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