Running is my Romeo

People often ask me: "WHY - or better - HOW can you get up at 0430 in the morning to run?!" "Are you crazy?" 

And, the answer to that question is probably ... YES! I am a little crazy! But, what I have found over the years is that if I didn't run, I'd be a HELLUVA lot crazier! 

Running has been a constant in my life since I was 20 years old.

It's helped me weather a stressful military career, divorce, child bearing, postpartum depression, a binge-eating habit and HELLOOO... the restlessness of seeing, and saying goodbye to, the big 4-0!

It's the one thing, above all others, that has taught me patience, persistence, dedication, commitment, diligence, self-control, personal efficacy and sacrifice. It's taught me to push past the point of failure. To do more than I thought I could do. To dig deeper. To stop feeling sorry for myself, get off my ASS and get moving. To go one more mile, one more step. It's taught me that the ONLY person who can do this for me is ME.

It's given me hope, faith, self-confidence, a sense of humor, compassion, and a drive so strong Hercules himself can't stop me. 

It has also given me disappointment...

Sprained ankles and scraped up body parts mixed with equal parts of tears, self-loathing and self-pity. It's brought me to my knees when I trained so hard only to see my goals not met. I've hated it, cursed it. Swore it off. Only to come running (pun intended?) back to it the next day, like a true love affair. Running is my Romeo! 

But, back to the CRAZY part. 

When I mention all the things that running has done for me, I can simplify it by saying running has made me resilient. After all, isn't resilience an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity? In other words: Get up. Brush off. Try again. Allow yourself to be disappointed, we deserve that. But, move on. Not only in running, but in life. 

When life hands you that blow. When someone gets a promotion you thought you deserved. When your child won't sleep through the night. When you receive an unexpected diagnosis from the doctor. When you get lemons, not lemonade. My advice: GO RUN! 

Don’t make it a one-night-stand

Don’t just make running a New Year's Resolution. Tap into the benefits it can offer you in your current life. Take time to think about how running helps, or can help, your resilience in the other parts of your life. Does it give you time to reflect? Be mindful of the things around you? Decompress physical stress? Take stock of your day?

Don't see it as just another task that must be marked off your list. See it as something you simply can't live without! It's a necessity, not a luxury. 

Start a love affair with it.

Date it. Seek it out. Be curious about it. Do it somewhere new. Try new positions with it. Fall in love with it. Take selfies with it. Buy new clothes to meet it in. Give it time, attention. Tell it your dreams. Share with it your frustrations. Make it feel important. If you do, I promise, it will give your more than you ever thought possible. 

And, on that note, my lover is calling me. Until next time...

Feet Don't Fail Me now! 

Wishing your happy thoughts and fast feet, 

Val