It becomes so easy for us to take basic things for granted every day - shelter, a warm bed, healthy food, a stable job. When we stop and think about it, we are so lucky and blessed. We have so much to be thankful for. Some days aren’t the best. Nothing seems to go right at work. The car battery is dead. The milk is spoiled, you had a fight with your spouse, the kids won’t behave, or half of your staff calls in sick. But guess what – in the midst of all the issues we find that make us shake our head, we are so blessed. Look at it this way. You have a car. You have enough money to put food on the table. You have healthy children, a loving spouse, and a stable job.
You know what else is a blessing? Being able to run. Whether you run fast, slow, or somewhere in between – you are blessed with the ability to be free from all the troubles and worries swirling around in your mind each day. Running presents us each with a chance to clear our mind and enhance our body. Plus, if you think about it, running also allows us to strengthen our ability to adapt to change.
It can be easy for us to take running for granted. We figure the next run will always be there waiting for us, and that it will be there when we need it. Sometimes we treat running like an acquaintance. You know, all your REAL friends are too busy to go out for a drink or dinner, so you call up running. We assume we can take advantage of our fitness level any day we want, and that even when we have several poor months of training that we are still in “tip top” shape. We figure no matter how much we blow off running it will still come back to us anytime we call. But guess what – that’s not always the case.
So when do we realize what a blessing running can be? It seems as though we realize what a blessing running can be when we can no longer run. Maybe an illness or injury has us sidelined or perhaps a demanding schedule is leaving little time for enjoyment. The next time you’re not looking forward to that speed workout, remember the last time you were injured and how you focused on the big running goals you wanted to achieve when you returned. The next time you decide to crash on the couch because running a few miles after work seems like a chore, remember the runner who just had surgery and is stuck in bed. The next time you mope around after missing a PR by a minute after a couple months of training, remember the runner who has been working toward a PR goal for 5 years and is still trying. The next time you want to skip your cross training session or yoga class, think of the individual walking on the treadmill in the gym in an attempt to better their life while others point and laugh at their weight.
Why do we take something so special for granted? Perhaps it is because we do it so often, that we actually truly think of it less and less. Think of Wirthlin’s quote, “The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.” Nailed it.
Running provides friendships and bonds that extend beyond the miles on the road, trail, or track. The bonds forged through running are bonds that cannot easily be broken. A common interest, sharing hard work, and an understanding of what it takes to reach a goal is just a piece of the foundation of a running friendship. So, be thankful for those who listen to you complain about your sore muscles, blisters, or missed PRs. Rejoice with those who nail a hard workout or want to show off their new shoes! Help those who are beginning, and empathize with those who are struggling. The camaraderie built through running is definitely something to be grateful for. Cherish these relationships.
During this season of reflection, giving, love, and thanks, take a moment to think about what running has given you. Perhaps it’s stability, mental clarity, of self-confidence. Maybe it’s something else. Whatever it is, promise yourself you will do a better job of remembering the importance of being grateful for both the large and small things in life. When you wake up in the morning, remember how fortunate you are to have the ability to lace up those shoes and hit the pavement. Don't focus on the fact you wish you had nicer shoes, a new Garmin, or name brand running tights. Stop thinking about crawling back under the blankets. Get out there and enjoy the beauty of the world. Take a look at the stars and feel the cool air in your lungs. Listen to the birds and watch the sun rise. Enjoy the scenery, push yourself a little harder, and be thankful for the body you have been given. Cultivate the habit of being grateful.
Happy Thanksgiving, team! Happy turkey trotting!
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Who Picks the Topics?
Each week, we notice different things. We try to incorporate the questions we are receiving or the training issues we are noticing into our post(s) for the week. If there is something you'd like us to cover, let us know!