A few weeks ago, to my surprise, my spirit urged me to start a running training program.
I’ve never been much of a fan of running. It can be pretty punishing on the body, boring and create a lot of discomfort mostly of the mental kind, where you want to quit because it feels hard but you keep pushing yourself to keep going, unless of course you do quit because you don’t win the mental battle and either walk, go home and/or never go for a run again.
Well I’m not a fan of the gym, and while I love boxing (I trained in boxing for many years and was even going to try some amateur bouts until I sprained my ankle then suffered hip and back problems for a couple of years) I’m not feeling the call to go back to boxing right now.
My main goal is to move my body, get fit and feel good. My secondary goal is to work up to running 5 kilometres, just because it feels good to have to something to aim towards that will extend myself.
So I googled and found a simple training program that combines walking and running that builds up to only running over a number of weeks so that I can ease into it, build up strength and stamina and reduce the risk of injury by going too hard too soon.
It’s not been the best time of year to start training here in Melbourne. It’s winter. They days are short and cold, sometimes windy, and we’ve had a lot of rain. So you know what’s coming next….
Common excuses not to take action
Being winter gives me at least 4 reasons not to go outside and run:
It’s too dark.
It’s too cold.
It’s too wet.
It might rain.
The other excuses I can come up with include:
I’m still sore from the last run.
I’m too tired.
It’s too hard.
I’ll go tomorrow.
My favourite and most consistent excuse is:
I don’t feel like it.
As humans, we’re pretty wired for comfort and safety. I think it’s a rare person who wakes up and says to them self…
“Gee I feel like getting out of my comfort zone today!”
Well at least I don’t wake up thinking that or saying to myself that I really feel like going for a run, although maybe one day I will.
So far, three weeks into my training I haven’t missed a training session and I’ve managed pretty easily not to give into my excuses and allow them to stop me and this is why…
My secret motivation booster…
Last year, my teacher/coach introduced me to Kundalini meditation and yoga by prescribing some short meditative practices to help with anger and negativity, heart protection and self-love. I’ve tried different styles of yoga over the years but never clicked with them the way I clicked with Kundalini yoga. I felt completely different after the first short 3-minute practice I was given. Since then, I’ve been practicing almost every day.
One of the things that I love about the kundalini practice is that often there is time allowed to sit, breathe, notice the body and it’s energy and integrate the medicine of the practice. The energy in and around my body may feel different depending on the practice but there are usually very delicious feelings to feel.
I’ve transferred this practice of awareness and integration into my running training.
When I arrive home from a run, I sit for a few minutes and feel the energy that is around my body. Yes, my legs or feet or knees might feel a bit sore or achy, but the energy in and around my body feels light, vibrant, alive, vital, joyful and sometimes blissful.
It is by paying attention to how I feel after I’ve done the hard work i.e. the fruits of my labour that motivates me to go back and run again, to put myself through discomfort.
The running might be hard at times but the more I do it, the more I start to experience pockets of joy as I run. The more I pay attention to how I feel after running, the more I want to go back and do it again.
Bask in the goodness. Soak in all the delicious sensations.
It’s that simple. And it’s something we can apply to almost any difficult task we have to accomplish whether it be a university assignment, cleaning up a very messy house, making a difficult phone call we’ve been putting off.
So I offer you this short practice to try:
Drift back in time and remember something you accomplished that felt good to accomplish.
Remember how you felt.
Notice where the feeling is located in your body and what the sensations are like. It might not be in your body but just around your body in your energy field or aura.
Name the feelings or sensations.
Bask in the feeling and sensations.
Doing this will effortlessly build your motivation to take action because…
You will more deeply map the feeling to your body and energy system.
The next time you have to do something hard or uncomfortable, your body will remember the good feelings .
Those good feelings will help you move through the uncomfortable part.
It will become easier to take action and consistent action towards your goals because those good feelings are going to pull you towards them.
Try it and let me know how you go.
Oh and if you’re one of those people who does wake up in the morning looking forward to getting out of their comfort zone, I’d love to hear from you too. Let me in on your secret.
With love and courage,
PS This is me on my way back home from a run, rugged up for the cold and rain jacket on because it was possibly going to rain but it didn’t…