Truth be told, my love of running formed by the process of elimination. I’m not athletic and I’m not coordinated; but I can put one foot in front of the other, although even that isn’t always graceful. Not sure what actually got me out the door that first time ~ maybe a previous night of overindulgence and the feeling of complete and utter disgust that can only be purged through a detoxifying sweat. I do remember that it was a 90 degree, June day and I barely made it around the block before collapsing into a panting, puddled mess.
But something got me out the door the second and third day and soon it became a ritual. A necessity actually. Like an outlet. An escape. A shedding of the skin that allows renewal from beneath and within. The work became worth the transformation. To be honest, I hate it for the first mile or so pretty much every-damn-time but I keep my mind on the prize: the feeling of elation and sweet release of emotional steam.
The constant sense of renewal beckons me ~ to shed the regret and worry of things I can’t control and just be. There’s a saying in yoga that regret dwells in the past and the future holds anxiety but when you’re focused on the present you can find and appreciate joy in the little things. There’s so much joy to be found in nature. For me, it’s where I feel the most profound presence of God.
So how do you get started?
- Don’t put pressure on yourself. There’s no shame in alternate running and walking while you build endurance.
- Invest in good shoes! Don’t buy online until you’re familiar with the brand and style best for your foot and gait.
- Consider trail running. Dirt paths soften the impact on your joints versus concrete. Bonus! The view is typically prettier than street running.
- Enjoy the “zone” but be mindful of your running form. Keep your knee in line with your foot, go for short, quick strides, keep elbows at 90 degrees and relax your hands.
- Stretch and roll. Invest in a foam roller or fascia massage stick. Fascia is connective tissue surrounding muscles and it’s important to keep it healthy and flexible.
The first step is the hardest. Ready, set…move!