I am not a runner. In fact, I despise it with everything in me. I have since I was younger. This coming from a woman who played both basketball and tennis, both of which involved quite a bit of running, especially in off-season and training. Many friends run, though. I live in a town known for it’s runners, it’s races and it’s trails. I even went so far as to do a 5K a couple of years ago with my friend Hanna (thank you by the way for that!), but it was more of a walking thing for us since it was the Color Run.
So I am not sure why but long about mid-April I took up running, intermittently mind you, while I tried different workouts in my normal cycle. Over the month of May I took on the challenge of logging 30 running miles in 30 days, and I am happy to brag that I finished that up three days early! That’s a huge thing for me because honestly as you’ve ascertained already I hate running. I used to joke that I would only do it if being chased.
Slowly over this last month it’s become more of a release for me, and a time where I can clear out some thoughts and often get re-focused on my life. Saturday morning I woke up at my normal workweek time (because that’s what inevitably happens on Saturdays, without an alarm) and decided to get in a run before it became unbearably hot and/or poured rain. While I am writing this it’s on downpour three of today and hence why I am not currently running.
I have been, for the last month, focused on the next step in front of me when I run. One foot in front of the other. Just keep it moving, even when my pace is an ungodly number…just take that next step. And so as I was on lap two in my normal run route I happened to look up, and look around. I caught this and honestly I had to stop and just take the photo.
In running, much like life, I tend to focus on the things right in front of me without much pausing. Without stopping or taking a moment to look around at where I am at, often finding I get in a place because I was too focused on the step rather than the path. As I continued on running I kept thinking on this thought, and how I don’t focus much when I run on the target ahead until I am right on it. Instead of pushing myself through, even praying through it, I just get that next step in.
While focusing on where and how we plant our feet is good, it can lead us to a habit of not focusing on the end goal, where we are striving to be. As I continued on my run Saturday morning I found I was very present and pushing to the distance rather than the step and debating on going another mile instead of focusing on the step in front of me. It allowed me to see that I can push farther when I am not as present-focused but future-minded.
While I am still not sold on this whole running bit, I am finding it is giving me new perspective on what I am capable of when I put my mind on the things ahead instead of what’s currently in front of me.