Running is life: 5 Reminders

December 6th, 2012

I swore, “I will never do that again,” when I staggered across the finish line of my first half-marathon. I’ve done six of them since, all on trails, each one more exhilarating than the last. I often wonder how it got to this point. How could I delight in something so grueling and painful?

This whole experience parallels life step for step: a sea of difficult, deliberate work with islands of tranquil, euphoric experiences. So when it comes to life (and running) the following serve as helpful reminders:

1. Lean in

It’s easy to lean back and run on your heels. Don’t. You’ll injure yourself.

2. Discomfort is the language of progress

Do those things that put you in your discomfort zone. This is where we grow and do our best work.

3. Good form channels your strength

Implement a few good habits and disciplines that structure the flow of everyday life. Like water between river banks, everything else flows through these structures.

4. Know your stuff, then get out and do

Deliberate action translates head knowledge into personal knowledge. I geek out on running, but all that knowledge amounts to little if I don’t get out and run. Running makes it real.

5. Cherish moments that flow

Commitment to the difficult process yields clarity and effortlessness.

We’re most inclined to bail out on a project or commitment when things bog down, get difficult, or even painful. Persisting and pushing through these challenges leads to great things.

I hope you find these reminders helpful, and I hope you’ll share them with someone you know who could use some encouragement.