I Run for Me

My Running Motivation Is Wanting To Better Myself

After a recent conversation with a friend who asked about how I keep myself motivated run, I recalled that motivation to accomplish a goal.

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Over the last few months, as I have gotten back into a regular running routine, I have been thinking about my personal running goals. Thinking back to when I was younger, I realized that I still have the same running goals. I have always had a desire to run a 5k, moving to the next step by running a 10k, continuing even further by running a half marathon and to hopefully one day run a marathon.

When I really began to reflect on these goals, the sign-ups for the 3rd annual Bearcats Dash and Bash had just been released and I was like okay God I hear you, I see what you are doing here. For this race, you can either choose to run a 5k or a half marathon and I have to be honest, I was a little scared to sign up. It would be my first race ever and up until that point I hadn't been training for a race, nor had I ever trained for a race.

However, while staring at my screen for the registration and sign-ups I was taken back to a conversation that I had, had with one of my best friends the previous day. We were having dinner together when she suddenly brought up lifestyle and fitness, luckily we weren't eating any junk food, but she proceeded to tell me about how she has always been impressed with my dedication to working out. That no matter how tired I felt or how busy I was I always made the time to get a run in, and she would know well due to my daily Snapchats to her. Already feeling incredibly humbled by several compliments she then proceeded to ask me "how do you keep yourself so motivated?" And honestly, the answer is simple. I do it for myself.

My key motivation for running is that I am doing it to better myself. In the morning when I wake up and I feel exhausted and I don't want to go for a run I still go because I know that I will feel more awake afterward. The days when my muscles are super sore I still go on a run because I know that sore muscles equal stronger muscles. When I am feeling sad, angry, overwhelmed, stressed, or just have an overall negative feeling I go for a run because exercise releases endorphins. I go for a run because it is the lifestyle that I am choosing to live so I am a healthier person overall. I am doing it for me.

It the constant remembrance of this motivation that has gotten me to the point in which on October 7, 2018, I will be running my first 5k. I will finally after I don't even know how many years, be accomplishing one of my main goals as a runner in the Bearcats Dash and Bash with one of my best friends running right next to me. I am no longer scared because I have recently been reminded that I am running this race for me, and I could not be more excited.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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If You've Ever Ran A Half-Marathon Then You've Probably Had These 18 Thoughts

There's so many thoughts during a half-marathon.

Loui
Loui
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Two weeks ago I ran my first ever half marathon. I've never run a race in my life before and I'm not really a runner so it was an interesting experience. Over the course of my training, I actually learned to enjoy running and I can say that I actually like it now.

This half marathon was really challenging but really rewarding. These are all the things that I was thinking about (there was probably a lot more, too) during those 13.1 miles.

1. "This is really easy but all these people are running way too fast."

2. "This is so much easier than a training run."

3. "Wow I already ran three miles."

4. "I need water."

5. *Casually sings Neon Moon by Brooks and Dunn

6. "I'm getting really hungry. I hope there's muffins at the end."

7. "Dang, this is easy. I feel like I could run for forever."

8. "Okay, so we went six miles so 13 minus six is seven. We have seven miles to go." 

9. "The sun is so hot."

10. "I could use some more water."

11. "Would my group judge me if I walked at mile eight?"

12. "Why am I running again?"

13. "I'm on mile 10 so in 10 minutes I'll be on mile 11. This will totally go by fast."

14. "I'm still on mile 10."

15. "I'm still... on... mile.... 10... now mile 11."

16. "This is the longest run of my life."

17. "Oh great, now my calf is cramping." 

18. *When the run is over* "Man, I feel like I could do another one!"

Loui
Loui

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