One of the best things I did for my running and my life was to really learn how to find contentment and joy in whatever season I am in. It took me a really long time to get here. It took finding myself in running, losing myself in tying my worth to running, and then losing running for a season to re-find myself and recalibrate my relationship with running. I found the right relationship with running finally after years of having my relationship be out of balance.
Your value isn’t in your running.
Your value isn’t in how you look or what size you are.
Your value isn’t in all of the arbitrary things we place value in that, in the grand scheme of things, really aren’t that important. You hold inherent value just in being. And finally realizing and accepting that gave me permission to accept myself just as I am, not hold resentment for any tough seasons I was going through and find joy in the moment.
I hope you find a deep love and appreciation for your body. I spent so many years fighting my body. Not appreciating it. Even despising it. Isn’t that so silly? This amazing body that has survived so much in life just wants love and acceptance. It took me years to find that. Running helped me to find a deeper appreciation for my body.
Your body is doing incredible things. Just realizing that helped me to love it and be grateful for it. I’ve worked to find unconditional body acceptance: it doesn’t matter what stage I’m in, in peak fitness, or in a period of no training.
I’ve learned to speak kinder to my body because I am happier when I am more gentle on myself. I spent years comparing my body, my times, my everything to others. Doing so was unfair to myself and to others. I had to come to a place where I completely accepted and liked myself where I was and for who I was.
Comparison is such an easy, yet destructive, thing to do. I’m working to not let that be a part of my life—whether it’s comparing myself to others or to my former self. None of it is helpful.
That is freedom. That is where I want to be. Life is a lot more joyful when we find kindness and acceptance for ourselves and when we finally give ourselves permission to be our true selves.
Running is such a gift. It’s meant to enrich our lives. I hope you always let it hold that space in your life. I hope you let it be the thing that gives you confidence, fills your joy bucket, brings you peace, lets you process thing in a healthy way, challenges you, and makes you a better person at the end of the day.
I’ve worked hard to find acceptance in whatever stage of the journey I am in. It’s been a much more joyful way to experience life. Currently, postpartum, I’m working to get back into my running. I’m running slow miles, and few miles— but they are miles and they make me feel good. It’s my time to decompress. I don’t worry about how far I am from my fitness. I know it will come back to me in the right time. And for now, I can find joy in the miles I can run.
No matter what stage of the journey you’re in: beginner runner, at the peak of your fitness, injured, on the comeback train, or masters running—I promise, you are doing amazing. Just to get up and get out there, to find positivity and hope in tough times shows what an incredible person you are.
I hope you always appreciate how far you’ve come, what you’ve accomplished, and feel excitement for your future running. It’s so easy, as women, to be hard on ourselves and not give ourselves any credit. What you are doing is extraordinary. Your commitment to show up for yourself says so much about who you are.
Let’s celebrate who we are, what we bring into the world, and what we have accomplished.
As amateur runners, we have a lot on our plates and are balancing so much. Give yourself grace through the process. That’s what I have had to do in this season as a new mom. I give myself grace and understanding and I accept that this season may look different than other seasons. My running may look different with a few more things on my plate and that’s OK. I will get
back to my fast running days, but for now, I’m enjoying where I am and I’m grateful for the miles I can run.
Let’s encourage and lift up our fellow runners. We are all at different points in our journey and we all can use encouragement.
I hope these last few months I’ve been able to speak life and hope into your dreams. To remind you that everything that you secretly dream of with your running (and in your life) is really possible. To believe that the best bet you can make in life is on yourself. Whenever fear or doubt tries to creep in, whenever you want to give into discouragement, look back—see how much you’ve overcome and show fear the back door. You’re an overcomer. You are a champion. There is no challenge that you can’t face.
Whatever season you’re in right now, give it 100 percent. If it’s your comeback season giving 100 percent might mean coming in with a great attitude and positivity in face of setbacks. If you’re in your best season, 100 percent probably looks more like giving it your all and lifting others up around you.
I hope sharing my trajectory as a 6:08 marathoner that fought through years of regression and disappointment in running and finally found a way to a breakthrough marathon of 3:11, gives you so much encouragement for your own running. If I can do
it, so can you. Believe that.
You have so much more potential than you know. Feed that potential by speaking encouragement into your running and your dreams. You deserve that. Be around others that inspire, motivate, and encourage you.
To keep up with TrackClubBabe beyond 360 YOU check out her Instagram: @trackclubbabe