We live in a culture of do more with less time, less money, less resources. Your Facebook feed is probably littered with articles such as “Do XYZ every day” and “5 Food to Eat Every Day” and “10 Habits of Successful People”. The message is always the same….do this or that every day and you will be successful, whatever that means.
Runners further encounter this on a targeted level. Do more strength training, run more miles slowly, do HIIT training, run hill repeats, do track workouts, eat more protein, eat 100% plant based and the list goes on. It can get very overwhelming to sort through it all for new and old runners alike. To make matters worse, the advice can frequently be conflicting. What is a runner (or any person) supposed to do?
When I first started running, I tried to do it all and I burned out fast, quick, and in a hurry. As a result, finding motivation was an intense struggle and my depression took advantage of this struggle. I could not find consistency in my exercise or daily routines and became bogged down with guilt.
I wondered how “real” runners were able to do it all. I wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn’t be this super human being. I wondered why I could be successful in other parts of my life, but not this one. I wondered what I was doing wrong.
When I turned to others (either in person or via the internet or social media), I got lots of advice – all colored by that individuals experiences and needs. It took me a long time to realize that I needed to focus on what worked for myself, not others.
Sorting through it all and finding what works for you is a process. See, the meaning of life is all about our journey, not the destination. Life it not meant to be easy and comfortable. Life is meant to be raw and dirty and leave us bloody and bruised. It is only with these battle scars and life lessons that we grow stronger and truly experience life. We are born with a seed inside that contains the code to our best selves. Within this imperceptible seed, all the answers exist.
In order to decode this seed, we must nurture and water and put effort into its growth. It may turn into a mighty oak or a delicate cherry blossom or a powerful eagle. It may grow into one thing one day and morph a year or 10 years down the road.
Or It can wither and die on the vine. From the day we are born, we are in a continual process of growth or death….it is up to us to decide through our actions which direction we are headed.
How do we decide which actions are going to help and which are going to hinder?