I have considered myself a runner throughout my entire life. As a child, running was for fun. As a teenager, running was for sport. And now, as an adult, running has become a whole new meaning to me, and that meaning is practically priceless. Having completed my first half marathon last summer, for this coming summer I am taking on the challenge of training for a full marathon. Through this process, I have learned so much more about myself in just one short year.
1. By strengthening your body, you naturally strengthen your mind
By reaching your body's full potential, you can easily reach your mind's full potential — they are undeniably connected.
2. Feeling uncomfortable is OK
We all go through uncomfortable situations and phases in our lives. Stick with them, for it always gets better. Like when you're on mile 15 of a 20-mile run and you're feeling like quitting. Don't.
3. Every mile matters
Each mile on a 26.2-mile run counts, as does every season of your life. You may have a destination in mind, but it's important to enjoy the road leading to that destination. It all matters.
4. I can conquer my anxiety
Anyone who knows me is aware that I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. One thing that makes me feel entirely on top of the world, though, is running. The feeling I get after completing a long run is like nothing else I have ever experienced. I feel simply unstoppable.
5. I can do anything I set my mind to
Had you asked me three years ago, as a college freshman, if I'd be running a marathon as a college senior, I probably would have laughed in your face. I never dreamed this would be a possibility, especially at this stage of my life.
6. I can push myself past my previous limits
This doesn't just apply to how far I can push myself when the realm of running, but in life as well. Since beginning my running journey, I have seen just how much more I can study, how much more I can accomplish through my own drive and focus.
7. Comparing yourself to others is a complete and total waste of time and energy
For the most part, there's always going to be someone who's faster than you, and someone who's further along than you are in any pursuit of life. That is OK, but what you're not going to do is play the comparison game and let yourself feel inferior because of it. Trust me, it is not worth it.
I believe that just about anyone can take on this incredible sport, at just about any age. Of course, it is important to take it on safely and at the right time. In order to avoid any needless injury, ensure that you're wearing the gear that is right for you, from shoes to weather-appropriate clothing. Become your best self, and don't wait until tomorrow.