Focus on the good.
Sounds easy enough.
Except for when you're out of breath, lagging, sweat's dripping from your brow, and your hip is hurting.
What am I talking about? Running.
So many of my friends tell me they hate to run. It's not fun. It hurts. It's boring. They never transition from the hurts like he** to the peaceful rhythm run. They never feel the euphoria. The adrenaline never kicks in. Loose bladders. You name it. I've heard it.
It made me think back to what it was like when I first started running. I didn't always enjoy running. I hated it.
Remember? I was the girl who skipped the mile in college. I was the girl who cursed long-distance runners in track, calling them "wimps". I was a "sprint" runner. Now THAT was hard...or so I thought back then.
When I first started running a few years ago it wasn't easy. It was anything but. I was slow. I stopped a lot. I drank a lot of water. I quit a lot.
But I kept at it.
Over time it became a little easier. Slowly.
I found what helped me was focusing on the things I LOVED ABOUT RUNNING. Were there any? Even the person who loathes running can think of at least one thing they love about running. Here are some of the things I racked my brain for when I first started out.
I loved having "me" time.
I loved knowing the "me" after running would feel accomplished and refreshed.
I loved knowing I was burning calories like crazy - more than the bike, the treadmill, and the stepmill (that's just me).
I loved listening to new playlists each day on my iPod.
I loved running first thing in the morning - every morning from 6:30-7 a.m. - that was MY time to run. It was still dark and cool.
I loved watching the sun rise.
I loved the challenge of passing other joggers or walkers in my way.
I loved the feeling of being halfway done.
I loved the feeling of being on the home stretch.
I loved my sprint to my house, along my driveway, and up my steps before I pushed "stop" on my Garmin.
I loved my Garmin (still do).
I loved slow jogs with a friend (thinking of you Sheena) when we had girl time to talk about girl issues.
I loved that when I was traveling for work I could run anywhere...Anaheim, Chicago, Vegas...being a few.
I loved listening to the birds in the trees and the rustling of traffic...somewhere else.
I loved wearing new running clothes (I know, superficial).
I loved my Mizuno Wave Riders (first pair ever running shoes and still my favorite).
I loved searching the trail and mountainside for wildlife.
Those were the things that got me through running. Really, when I think of running, that's what running is all about. I still don't always LOVE the actual event of running. Sometimes I do, but there are still times I don't.
I'm always happy when it's done.
So today during my run I counted the many things I LOVED about my run, and I smiled.
Today I loved getting out before the sun went up.
Today I loved how Heavenly Father had the sprinklers on - even if only for a few minutes to cool me down.
Today I loved that even though I didn't see any deer, I saw a group of ducks along the path.
Today I loved the part of my run where I run around the pond.
Today I loved that there are 3 bathrooms along my 9 mile route. I was especially appreciative of that the other day. *wink*
Today I loved witnessing the most beautiful sunrise amidst the heavy clouds. The entire sky was lit up orange.
Today I loved the thunder and lightning in the canyon. It was close but not TOO close.
Today I loved the way my brand spankin' new Mizunos felt on my tired feet.
Today I loved the way they LOOKED too.
Today I loved the wind and the breeze that helped me stay cool (with so much cloud cover and recent thunderstorms, it's been really humid here - very abnormal for Utah). The golfers along the trail I'm sure didn't care for it though.
Today I loved knowing I'd burn 900 calories during my run and would easily justify the carb-laden dates in my baked oatmeal.
Those really are things that went through my head this morning. There were so many more. I focused on what I loved. I focused on my form. I focused on the recent exercises my Sports Physical Therapist had taught me.
It made the time go by...more quickly...more enjoyably...and pain-free.
This doesn't just apply to running. It applies to everything. Any kind of sport. Any kind of exercise. Any kind of anything. Focus on the good.
All that being said, I still couldn't wait for this morning's run to be over.
By the way, my Baked Oatmeal with DATES was awesome.