Running in Little Steps
Back in high school, I was coerced into joining cross country with my sister. As a soccer player, I couldn’t understand how she and 15 other students from my school found joy in running long distances. Didn’t it get boring after a few minutes? At one mile? At two miles?
Since my sister was my ride to soccer practice, I attended her cross country practices in the form of sitting and doing homework. Early into the season, however, one girl developed shin splints and couldn’t compete in the upcoming meet. With only six girls running on varsity, they needed another person.
Say hello to runner number seven.
Now many years later, my attitude towards running has changed (I love it) but my motivation rises and wanes with the weather. I always find that when I’m finally out on a running path or adjusting the controls on a treadmill, it’s really not that bad. By the end of it, I’m feeling pretty happy.
It’s the getting started part that seems difficult.
A little over a month ago, I attended Full Engagement Training where I learned to manage my energy and keep myself fueled throughout the day. Near the end of the program, I wrote down a health goal: eat smaller, healthier, and more frequent meals. Easy goal, right? Probably, but then I was prompted to write down the steps that could help me accomplish that.
Okay. Well, come to think of it, I could use a few more fruits and maybe some granola bars in my pantry. I wrote that down. Then I wrote another step. And another.
I’ve found that it’s those little steps we make to make things more manageable and help us to achieve our goals—figuratively and now in the literal sense.
If the barrier I face when it comes to running is starting, then my first step is to simply put on my shoes.