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You often hear people say things like “Life’s a marathon, not a sprint” or refer to “crossing the finishing line” on a project or deal. Over the past several weeks as I have been training for the mini-marathon and logging a LOT of time alone just running and running with nothing else to think about, I’ve come to understand why so many people compare life to running. Here are just a few of the things that I find myself thinking about and comparing when I am trying to pass the time.
- Pace is the key. Whether in running or in life, you have to pace yourself or you will burn out. Even more than that, you just won’t enjoy yourself. And everyone’s pace is different. It doesn’t do any good to compare yourself to the guy running next to you. Maybe your house is smaller or you take less vacations. Maybe you had your kids later than everyone else. It doesn’t matter. You set your own pace and stick with it, adjusting as necessary.
- Being alone isn’t always bad. I’m the kind of person who hates to be alone pretty much ever. I don’t have any kind of phobia–I just like company and companionship. Yet, I’ve come to understand that I don’t need it all the time and sometimes I am better off just doing my own thing. 90% of my running is done entirely by myself, and I’m okay with that now. It’s genuinely time for me to think and focus on nothing but myself. How often do we all take time for that?
- Change is good. In order to not get bored, I try to change up a lot of things about my runs. Sometimes I change the route. Other times I bring my daughter with me. I change my music or use no music at all. To keep it fresh, I change it. Life is the same. It can be easy to fall into a rut of always eating the same lunches or doing our work in the same way. Change your route. You never know what you might run across.
I could probably keep going all day with this, but these are just a few of the ones that keep coming back to me. How about you? What have you learned from your exercise routine?