“Every pro was once an amateur. Every expert was once a beginner. So dream big and start now.” – Robin Sharma
Sometimes it’s good to look back at the point you started from to appreciate where you are now.
The other day on my long run I was thinking back to where I was, in regards to fitness and running, about 4 years ago. Back then I couldn’t even run 1 mile without stopping several times. Even 10-15 minutes of constant running felt like such a challenge. Running a marathon had not even crossed my mind and to be honest would have seemed like a pretty crazy idea at the time.
Fast forward to today and I am running hours non-stop as part of a training program that will hopefully have me running 50km this August.
Everybody starts at the beginning. This is so important to remember.
When decided to get back into running I discovered a lot about myself and hit a few personal roadblocks on the way. Several runs ended in tears of frustration and utter disappointment in myself. All I could think about was why couldn’t I run faster, better, longer? I was pushing my body to try to do something I had not taken the time to train it to do and I was getting angry at myself in the process.
“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” – John Acuff
Today, I am happy to say that I have mellowed out quite a lot in my expectations of myself (notice I didn’t say completely mellowed out, of course I still have self doubting moments). Time (and inevitably getting older in the process), I believe, has a lot to do with this mellowing process. My focus has shifted from trying to be fast for the sake of being fast, to asking myself what I get out of running. Now it is more about the joy that it gives me, the personal satisfaction I feel and the feeling of solitude and freedom.
“Set goals you can achieve, and do not fear walking or simply taking a day off from the sport if you feel you need a mental or physical break. Even at the top of my racing form, I walk steep uphills and take 5 minutes during a long run to enjoy the view atop a hill.” – Ultrarunner Nikki Kimball
I have slowly discovered how to get my body to do things that I never would have imagined possible just a few short years ago. All it takes is time and a lot of effort! Never stop because you feel like you can’t do what you think you should be able to do. Give yourself the time, put in the effort and continue to feel joy in the process.