Movement is not optional. It is a necessary and critical part of living fully and completely. It supports healing from mental illness. It makes you more creative and productive. Whether you like to walk, run, swim, cycle, climb or any other number of activities, you must make time in your life to move.
Running is clearly my best way to promote and embrace movement. Running takes on many noble forms. Some people run in memory of a lost loved one. Some run because they want to support a charity. Some run to stay healthy for their family. Some run to keep a friend or a spouse company.
Running in my life is purely for myself, not for anyone else or any cause. When I set out on a run, I rarely compromise my planned run by adjusting to the needs of the social group I am running with. I do not speed up because my running partner wants to run faster. Often I even run alone because I am do not want to compromise my needs.
Does that make me selfish? Perhaps, but I believe that movement and activity are so crucial to being my best self that I embrace the selfishness of my running.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t give back to the running community or support friends with their running goals. I do all of that, but it is secondary to my personal needs because if I can take care of myself first, I will take better care of those around me.
Each of us comes to running (or any other movement) for our own reasons. You need to find what moves you and why and be relentlessly selfish about that.
Here are some tips that might help in your pursuit for supporting the Selfish “Active You”.
Think of Movement, Not Workouts:
Some of us are wired to LOVE workouts, but in general, thinking of movement as a workout makes it feel like, well, like work. Movement is a treat and a joy and if we think of it as work it can give it a sour taste. Movement doesn’t have to meet any other objective accept moving.
Schedule It and Honor the Schedule:
A good employee shows up to meetings on time. A good parent picks up their kids from school on time and gets them to their doctors appointments on time. Treat yourself with the same respect that you give to your co-workers and children and professionals. Schedule time for yourself to move and honor that schedule relentlessly.
Determine the Rule in Advance:
Create a set of rules for yourself that you will rely on when tempted to skip a movement session. By taking this step, when you get to your scheduled session, you can use these rules to think objectively about whether or not to complete this session.
Practice Consistency, Not Perfection
Each time you move, it will not be perfect. You may go for a run that turns into a walk or a hike that ends short. Embrace that. It will serve you so much more in the long run to be consistent with getting yourself moving than it will if you execute perfectly but only 1/2 of the time.
Making movement a habit in your life will bring many rewards. If you can be selfish in making time for movement, those around you will feel the benefits as much as you will.
The journey continues…..