Life Lessons: The motivation to run begins with a smileJune 22, 2009
How is the Run A Race This Summer Challenge going for all of you challengers out there? Yesterday was the Manitoba Marathon. Many people that I know were running in the half marathon, the same race that I was planning on running with my father dear a year ago. He is now in Cambodia and I am now training for a little 5km race, so the times they do certainly change!
Right now I’m going out for runs a couple times a week. I can now run for just over 3 miles straight (about 5km), which takes me a little bit over half an hour. The route that I take is a very pretty one and I think that I will start working on improving my speed now that I can go that distance. I still haven’t decided which race I will run this summer or when I will run it, so I’d better start looking into that in the near future. Just remember- when you’re out there running, make sure you stay hydrated!
Something that running has taught me is how supportive everyone within the running community is. This is perhaps one of the biggest differences between running and walking. People walking down the street don’t often share the same sense of having a connection. I walk down the same streets every day on my way to work, and some of the people that I pass on a daily basis do not smile or make any sign of recognition. Their eyes just move right pass, not wanting to make eye contact with another person. In this way, I rather like the privacy of walking, but at the same time it’s too bad that most walkers don’t seem at all inclined to greet others.
The running community is much different. When crossing paths with other runners, we’ll smile and greet each other, sometimes even make a comment on the weather within that incredibly short time period. On days when I plan to go running in the morning, and I wake up and I’m not much in the mood to go out for a run, when I think about the people that I know I’ll be seeing I’m encouraged to get out there. My motivation to run right now isn’t because I want to conquer my old demon of running, and it isn’t because I want to do really well in a race, and it’s not even because I want to get a lot stronger. It’s for the smiles and the connection that is made with others when I’m out on the road running that I want to get out there.
Starting my day with smiling at strangers and having them smile at me perks up my mood for the entire day. They aren’t even strangers: for the briefest of moments when we pass each other on the street, we’re friends. I like to see them there and to know that I’m not running alone. There’s a silent, underlying mutual acknowledgment made between all runners: “Oh, hello! You’re out here too? It’s good to see you having fun and doing something good for your body! I’m sure I’ll see you again, and if I don’t- the next person you pass? That’s me, too.”
What do you like about running? What keeps you motivated to run? If you’re having difficulties with the motivational aspect, Fitness Magazine recently emailed me requesting that I let you know about their Love Your Summer Workout: 10 Motivation Tips, so check it out for extra ideas.
Edited to add that at Living Rhetorically in the Real World, I have a motivational post about how you can turn your life around with just one small change. Be sure to check it out!