The Transforming Powers of the Run
Maybe you're interested in running because you want to lose weight. I promise - no, I warn you - that if you stick with it, you'll change much more than that.
Four years ago when I first stepped out that door - I didn't realize that my life would change forever. I didn't know I'd run marathons, write a fitness blog, or become a coach - I just didn't want to look like a fool at the Color 5K I impulsively signed up for.
But as I stepped out there, day after day, and saw progress, little by little, my body, my mind, my life was transformed.
The Transforming Powers of the Run
In Tune with Your Body
Before I started exercising, I don't think I had a strong relationship with my body. It was an OK relationship, but not a strong one. I worried about how it looked, but I didn't really know how to listen to it.
When I started running, I noticed a new relationship forming.
My brain told my body to run. And my body had something to say about that! And for once, I listened.
Slower. More runs. More water. Better food. More stretching. More sleep.
My body had asked for these things for years, but I never paid attention. Running was the mind-body exercise that taught me to listen.
And I began seeing my body as something more. It was not always about how it looked, but what it could DO.
My body could run for miles. It could carry me over hills. It could perform for hours in the hot sun.
Those legs weren't flabby - they were strong vehicles. I began to appreciate my body for what it could do and how it helped me in this journey in life. And I took better care of it.
In Tune with Your Mind
I've contemplated many important things in my life out on a run - do I marry my boyfriend? do I write a novel? do I quit my job?
Something about the churning of the legs that lets your mind churn, too. Moving forward on pavement urges your thoughts in fruitful, forward directions.
And running is not just about decisions. It's about the freedom it allows you, the control you gain and keep over your life. Running is yours and your mind knows it.
My fitness blog is named Run Away from Zombies. And it's not just because I'm training for the zombie apocalypse, I'm also running from the zombies of my current pre-apocalyptic life. I'm running away from Stagnancy, from Lack of Control, from Depression. Running keeps me grounded. Keeps me here.
It's something I do for me.
Running can be what you need it to be. A release valve, an escape, an enjoyable experience. When you come back from a run, you might find yourself to be a little more YOU.
In Tune with Your Loved Ones
Running can also help your relationships with others.
Solo runs physically separated me from others in my life. On those runs, I uncoupled my thoughts, feelings, and desires, from the thoughts, feelings, and desires of those I cared about. It's weird how they get entangled sometimes.
When I practiced separation, I was able to purposefully extend myself to others in healthy and helpful ways. Caring for myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, left me more whole and better able to assist others. I could help without being snappy, resentful, or needing something in return.
Unintentionally, I also showed others how to care for themselves by example. And in turn, they needed less of my help.
It's Not Just Running
Running will not only physically transform your life but can serve as a catalyst for all other aspects. Being in tune with your body and your mind opens the door to many possibilities. You can contribute to and experience the world with more self-awareness and energy.
It's hard to stay stagnant when your feet carry you so many miles.
Byline: Rebekah Hamrick is an RRCA certified running coach who loves to help new woman runners build a habit that will transform their lives.
Download her ebook for 10 hacks to get yourself out the door when you don't want to run so you can OWN your transformation.
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