When The Going Gets Tough
One of the mystifying and miserable things about running is that no matter how long you’ve been running, there will come a point where it feels really, really hard. Whether you’re in the middle of your very first mile or your 5,000th, sometimes the sport we are trying to love seems impossible. These tough times may last for mere moments (until you reach the top of that endless hill) or for months on end. It’s enough to make you wonder why you even bother. For me, that time comes every single summer, when I’m staring down the barrel of seemingly endless months of heat and humidity that make me consider quitting the sport altogether.
Related: A Letter To The Summer Runner, From The Winter Runner
But here’s the thing: running isn’t supposed to be easy. For some of us, it may never truly feel effortless like it seems to for others. Take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. There are people out there who are laughing right along with you at the idea of an “easy” run. Running is hard, and those of us who go out there willingly and do it anyway are pretty unique. No matter how bad a run goes, the fact that you got out there and did it anyway (especially if you had a feeling it was going to be a bad one) is commendable.
There might come a time when you just aren’t into running like you used to be. Maybe you’re struggling to come back to the sport after the birth of a child, maybe you’re attempting to regain fitness after an injury, or maybe you’re just in the middle of one of those “life happens” phases. No matter where you are, sometimes running can actually feel stressful. Ironic when it’s the thing that’s supposed to help reduce your stress, right? If you find yourself dreading your runs and desperately wanting to take a break, take comfort in knowing that you can. The sport will be there for you when you get back. Who knows? You might just come back stronger than ever.
We are always capable of just a little bit more than we think–especially when it comes to running. Our minds tend to quit long before our bodies do. So the next time you’re struggling, ask yourself if you have one more minute in you, one more mile, one more run, one more race. Sometimes the answer will be yes, and sometimes the answer will be no. Giving that last little bit is a huge confidence booster that will stick with you and remind you that you can do more than you think you can.
If you are struggling with running right now, know that you are not alone. We have all been there and back multiple times. Take comfort in knowing that it won’t always feel this hard and it won’t be long before you’re enjoying the rush of a downhill after this long climb. See you at the top!
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