Back in May, I wrote a post titled What Running Has Given Me. I don’t feel that way on every run. Just in case you were wondering. ::wink::
In fact, yesterday I had to force myself to get out and get moving. I hated every second of it. I was so happy when I was done. It’s never all perfect and rosy.
BUT . . . .
Running does bring me joy. If it didn’t, I could never get out there and do it over and over again.
It took time to get to a place where I found joy in running. A long time.
Running is like so many other things in life.
Remember when you were first learning how to ride a bike? It wasn’t fun at first, was it? It was scary. You had to concentrate and focus on not falling over. For a long time, you didn’t want your dad to let go of the seat and then, when he did you wanted him to run along beside you. You practiced and practiced and practiced. Over time, it got easier. Your body instinctively knew what to do and how to react. What used to be scary began to be fun. There wasn’t so much thinking anymore. There was just joyful abandon.
What about when you were first learning how to drive? Or when you were first learning how to bake? Or when you were first learning about photography?
All of those things I’ve mentioned will always require certain levels of concentration and focus no matter how long you’ve been doing them, but the longer you do them the more they will feel like home.
Joy may not come during your run. It might come as a result of your run.
I think joy can come from pushing through something you never thought you could do.
I think joy can come from hitting a wall and then climbing over it.
I think joy can come from no longer being held back by your own fears and doubts.
It’s joy speaking when you say, “I did that.”
That’s how I felt the first time I ran for twenty minutes without stopping. It hurt. Each minute felt like five and I’m not ashamed to admit I cried as I finished. My heart was full to overflowing. I felt joy.
If running is new to you and you’re feeling discouraged, wondering if it will ever get easier . . . slow down. If every time you lace up and head out you feel like it’s too hard and you can’t get your breathing under control, then slow down and then slow down some more.
Allow your body to learn. Give your body time.
It’s like learning to ride a bike for the first time. Eventually, you’ll get to the point where you’re no longer held back by fear or uncertainty.
You’ll find yourself running with joyful abandon.