I recently starting running again… and by running I don’t mean for 2 miles outside, down our dirt road.
No, I’m not a runner. I’ve never identified myself as a runner.

In fact, freshman year of high school I went out for the track team because I wanted to be a sprinter. Well, it just so happens that regardless of what you want to do, every one is required to run 2 miles during practice.
Um, yeah. Nope. Not me. After the first week, I quit. 

What’s funny to me now is running is not a hard sport. You don’t need any extra equipment except a good pair of shoes. You can go outside and use the road that’s already there. It’s pretty easy to get started, right? But then how come it’s so hard?

Well, maybe it isn’t for you, but it is for me.

During my training for my figure competitions I did high intensity interval training (HIIT) with sprints and believe it or not, I actually started to enjoy it. I know, crazy, right?

My endurance started getting better, not just with my running, but also I noticed an improvement with my lifting. I also knew deep down that if I signed up for a 5K that I would actually be able to finish it. Even though I was enjoying my sprints for about 20 minutes at a time, I don’t think you’ll ever get me out for a 2+ mile run, because I still don’t enjoy running that much

One October I had strained a muscle in my calf, so I took a good 6 months (ok, more like a year) off for it to heal, because I kept reinjuring it. Before I knew it, I had no desire to get back on it. I was still lifting, sure, but in order to have optimal health, we need both strength training and cardio (not to mention healthy eating as well). I was only doing some of it. 

It wasn’t until almost a year later that I decided, yes, I’m going to actually start again. 

I set a goal for 2-3 days for sprinting for only 10 minutes. I had to set small baby steps in the beginning or else I knew I wouldn’t do it, which is what I would recommend to anyone starting out– start small and then build. 

I was feeling good, keeping consistent and then I took 4 days off… not a big deal. 

When I got back on again, I set my interval timer for 20 minutes and 10 minutes in my mind was already giving up. Thoughts like, “You’re tired. It’s ok to quit. How much longer do I have to go? Is it done yet?” On and on it went until finally I had a whisper that said, Push past your mind. You gotta push past your mind.

Yes. That was it, I have to get past my mind, so I skipped the next song on my headphones and cranked that baby up and finished out my 20 minutes. 

Afterwards, I thought to myself, How many times do we start something and give up right away because it’s not easy? How many times do we give into our minds instead of pushing past our limits?

I would say we probably do that more than we care to admit. I know I do. 

Pay attention to your thoughts that you’re having, especially when you’re trying something new.
It’s never easy,
especially in the beginning. You are stronger than you think you are, so keep going, because I believe in you.