Confessions of a Reluctant Runner
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Health and Wellness

Confessions of a Reluctant Runner

or "What I've Learned from my Least Favorite 'Sport'"

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Confessions of a Reluctant Runner
Photo via Unsplash

I’d like to say otherwise, but the truth is, I’m a reluctant runner. At best. To be more accurate, I really dislike running.

To be completely truthful, I hate running - I only do it because I know it’s good for me. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not anti-exercise or anti physical activity; in fact, I love ultimate Frisbee & many other similar games. There’s just something different about running for it’s own sake though. Honestly, I've never figured it out. Running enthusiasts talk about experiencing “runner’s high”, but I’m skeptical. If it exists, I’ve definitely never experienced it.

I could go on, but I think you get the point... running just isn’t my thing.

That said, I’ve been working to be more disciplined in my running of late, trying to get in at least 2 or 3 runs each week. I’ve realized that even if I don’t enjoy it, it’s still a good discipline to build, and helps with overall health. It can also be a good time to do some mental organizing and think through various work-related issues. So even though I don’t enjoy running per se, I see value in it.

If I look at my entire run laid out ahead of me though, it gets pretty overwhelming. I run on country roads, so it’s not like a track - I can see far out in the distance, and therefore can also see exactly how far I have to run. If I look at that point way out in the distance, I get immediately overwhelmed.

So instead, I try to focus on a more attainable goal. Instead of the entire open road in front of me, I focus on something closer - maybe a telephone pole, out 100 yards in front of me, or something similar. Even if I hate every step of the way, I know I can run that far. So I tell myself I’m going to run as far as that, then I’ll let myself walk for a few yards before running again.

Once I get there though, I look 100 yards ahead and see the next one, and tell myself “I can go that far”, and again, I know I can. So I do. I keep repeating this trick over and over again over the course of that 3 mile run, and before I quite realize it, I’m done. It’s really as simple as taking one step at a time, and not allowing myself to be overwhelmed.

In a lot of ways, I’m realizing that this formula can be cross applied to other areas of life. Whether it’s in areas of personal growth, or as I look at my various business ventures, I get overwhelmed if I focus on the big picture. But if I break that overwhelming goal down into those little steps, I can focus on achieving them individually, and before I know it, I’ve reached that overarching, (and overwhelming) big picture goal.

It’s not enough to have a big-picture goal in mind - if I want to accomplish that goal, it takes a plan. That big goal needs to be broken down into bite-sized pieces before it will become a reality.

At least, that’s the only way I’ve been able to make those runs happen...

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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