A lot of the time I will get the question: “Why do you like to run so much?” or looks of “you’re crazy!”
The funny thing is I’ve been asking myself ‘Why the heck had I stopped?’ There isn’t a moment that goes by where I wish I had never stopped lacing my Mizuno trainers and hitting the trails or roads for a good 8 or 15 mile run.
However, I am a firm believer in the idea that things happen for a reason. We go down certain paths because in the end, our choices are all lessons that only we can learn from. It’s always best to live in the present and move forward.
I am definitely no saint and I have never really thought that highly of myself until this year really. Some would say I have a pessimistic attitude. I personally like to think that I am realistic. I know to a certain degree, I am completely wrong. One of my biggest struggles is my positivity. I am fine admitting to that and it is certainly something I have been working really hard on. The year of 2015 is where I feel my positive attitude is less talk and more action. For the first time in my life I am OK letting go of negative energy and really being grateful for what I have, instead of focusing on the things I don’t have.
There are, of course, those certain days where I want to hideaway in my apartment, shut all the blinds, and never speak to people. But, as we all know, life doesn’t work like that. Honestly, I’m tired of feeling weak for not confronting my demons. We perceive situations the way we want to see them. It’s all about finding that silver lining, as cliche as that sounds. It’s true and a lot easier said than done.
On a Mission to Run Happy
As I reflect back on the last decade, or so, of my life and the times where I felt the most lost, I realize I always engaged in running and fitness. I was hoping to find the cure for the rabbit-hole spiral my life became. The most optimistic I can ever remember feeling is before or after races and workouts. I’m not saying every time I stepped out the door and showed up at practice I was going to or did crush it. Of course not, what’s running without a little failure? It’s how we learn, amiright? I’m saying I always feel the best about myself when I put in a good solid week of training because I know there is no way I didn’t better myself in some way. Running is purely controlled by the attitude and practice you put into it.
Being positive (although has to come from within oneself) has a lot to do with the people you surround yourself with as well. I have the personality of molding into the emotions of those around me. I’m an emotional person and I carry emotions that others exude. Running has always surrounded me with the happiest of people. Genuinely happy people. Since there are all types of people that run, I don’t feel insecure because all runners have a similar goal: to be better than they were yesterday. We’re not out there to prove we’re better than each other or degrade each other. We’re out there to root each other on. To encourage people to be their best. And these are even strangers!
I don’t run for the abs (not that I don’t want some good solid ab muscles). I don’t run to be a fitness model. I don’t run to prove myself to anyone. I run because I know it will bring me long term health and happiness. And I definitely run because it brings out the most optimistic part of my being. That is the person I want to be. Everyone has their own outlet, running just happens to be mine. It’s what I’m good at. It’s where I feel the most secure and comfortable with who I am.
If you’re ever having a hard time finding your positive outlet or the feel good moment in your day, talk to someone who supports you. I get knocked down by people all the time. Sometimes I let it get to me and I get in a bad mood. Then I get upset at myself because I let something so petty get to me. When someone says something to you or about you, they probably don’t know you or they have their own shit they need to figure out. But you don’t have time for that kind of negativity your life.
So, let that person go, walk away and forget about it. They’ll figure out that soon enough all they need in their life is a little positivity too. Or not, but at least you don’t have to deal with it. My dad always told me that positive things happen to positive people. The older I get the more true that statement becomes. I find myself trying to repeat it as much as I possibly can because it creates positive results in the smallest ways. And that’s all it really takes. (Thanks dad!)
All in all, surround yourself with the people and the positive things that make you happy. I wanted running back in my life permanently, so I started enjoying the company of people who supported my choices and didn’t knock me down for doing it or writing about it. I run because it makes ME happy, not to prove anything to anybody else. I run because it makes me feel more awesome. I run for those who can’t. I run with those who want the best for themselves too. I run happy.
How do you stay positive on those days where everything just seems to go wrong?
Why do you run?