When I think about running and getting people started on their running journey, I sometimes compare the situation to Art and how many people believe they are not artists, they have no natural talent, they can’t draw or paint etc.
Perhaps you can recall someone saying this? Perhaps you have even said this yourself.
What happened? When we were kids, if someone gave us a crayon and a piece of paper, we would churn out pictures by the dozen with great pleasure, not caring or critical of the final result, moving onto the next portrait or diorama as soon as the first one was finished, full of pride and happiness.
At some point, somehow, we became convinced that we couldn’t draw, and if we tried, our first attempt was not a Rembrandt and simply convinced us that what we suspected was true; we had no talent and should probably stop trying.
The same type of challenge comes with taking on running as an exercise or sport.
We used to do it all the time as kids, just for the fun of it. Now, when we try again for the first time in a long time, our legs hurt after a short distance, or we are completely out of breath, and we have not even gone far. We might even convince ourselves that we have no talent and that we are not a “real” runner.
Overcoming this psychology and committing to the running journey is our biggest challenge. You don’t have to be fast; you don’t have to be fit, you don’t have to have the best shoes, you don’t have to have a nice day……… you just have to get out of the door and do it! As far as becoming a real runner is concerned, do the verb until you become the noun.
It is a constant challenge for all runners to consistently make the time to get out of the door and run.
But it is especially tough for beginners. Going from nothing to something is in many ways more challenging than, for example going from the half marathon to the marathon.
To begin, you must create the discipline and consistency to a journey that seems exhausting with goals that you are not sure can be achieved. There are no short cuts, the process follows the “law of the farm”. You must do steady work every day in order to reap the harvest at the end.
But if you succeed at this commitment to the journey, you get more than simply becoming a real runner. You get the self confidence that you can do hard things, that you don’t accept excuses, that you make time for important health choices, that you believe in yourself despite the current circumstances, that you can overcome, that you are much less limited that you thought.
Who knows where this journey might really take you in life?
~ Coach Alan