While running around this week, I had a couple important realizations.
First, and ultimately, I’m not going to train for a half marathon as I thought I might a couple of weeks ago. Sad, I know, but I think this will be the best for me right now. Let me trace my train of thought for you about the other important realization:
I broke down why I wanted to do a half marathon in the first place. The accomplishment of actually finishing the race was the main reason, but the idea of time consuming training sounded awful. I know I would’ve had some good runs in there where I felt excited and driven, but I know I would be spreading myself too thin. Because of this I inevitably wouldn’t do some of the workouts I planned because of work, dance, and other obligations, and I’d, in turn, get down on myself. I didn’t want to set myself up for failure at something I didn’t have my heart set on from the start.
I realized that I’ve been so dependent on accomplishing running goals because I didn’t know how I would make myself run otherwise. Lost for what my next goal should be, training for a half marathon seemed like a good one to set. But maybe, instead, I’m at a point where I don’t need to set running goals for myself anymore. I can just decide to go for a run for the fun of it, for the release, for the calorie burn, whatever my motivation is on that day.
This is when the realization hit me. Before I started running in April, I couldn’t just go for a run. If I wanted to exercise I’d have to pay for a dance or workout class, at the mercy of their schedule and offerings. I couldn’t go to the gym because I couldn’t afford to belong to one. I could walk, but when you already do so much of that as a New Yorker, it certainly doesn’t feel like a workout. Now, I can run, and that is a skill. It’s something I’ll have with me my whole life to do whenever and whereever I please with whatever motivation that drives me. I’ve developed a skill.
Fitness of any kind is just that–a skill. You can be skilled at something without being an expert or making it your whole life. That’s what a realized. If I want to run, I don’t have to be a runner. I don’t have to reprioritize my life in order to reap the benefits of this form of exercise. Instead I can just make the commitment to myself a couple times a week to go for a run and have fun.
Developing something you can rely on to make yourself healthier is a wonderful thing. Whether you mix up your workouts styles frequently or you’ve had an allegiance to one form of fitness for years, simply showing up and fitting in the time to exercise (in any style) helps you hone a skill. Even organizing your schedule to make fitness and wellness a part of your life is a skill. Sometimes it feels like the stars really have to align for us a fit a workout into our busy schedules, but making the effort for your body and your health is a skill that some don’t have.
I’m determined to continue to think of running just as that, a skill that I will continue to pull out of my back pocket whenever I need it. (I encourage you all to do the same with whatever form of fitness you enjoy or have always wanted to learn.) It doesn’t mean I can’t challenge myself within that skill. And who knows, maybe I will run a half marathon one day. But it will be on my terms and because it’s something I really want to do.
Happy (and free) running!
The Run Around Girl