Let’s start off with the nitty gritty. I’ve been running on average twice a week. Usually on weekends when the weather is nice and on a random weekday. I’ve allowed myself to do this simply because I DO enjoy running. When I told Joe that I had made the decision to take time off and not run at all he thought that was pretty black and white (which I do tend to be) so why not try to just be moderate with it and run every now and then. I love having a smart husband
It’s been about a month and a half since I decided to take time off. I feel like I’ve gained a few little golden knowledge nuggets that I want to share with you. As you know, time off is a HUGE deal for me. I started running in fourth grade and have been ever since. Whether it was for high school, college, cross country, track, off-season, or simply pushing my stroller through the neighborhood, you knew where to find me on a daily basis. I did it rain or shine and it got to the point where even taking one day off was virtually impossible for me (barring hospitalizations… if you want to be instantly committed to the psych ward, I imagine doing laps with your IV pole would do it, clearly I didn’t think about this or anything). ANYWAY, back to those valuable lessons I was going to share with you. Hopefully you can take a few to heart or apply them to your life in some way. Everyone struggles in some way or another!
1. We ALL deserve a break. I realize now how hard I was being on my body for so many years. Yes, running is good, wonderful, and healthy… but not to the extreme I went. I want my body to continue to function at a high level for decades to come and this requires giving it a rest period.
2. Running should be a choice rather than an obligation. I used to consider getting in my run an essential part of my day similarly to breathing, eating, or sleeping. Oh there’s a tornado coming? I’ll run faster. I have a fever? I’m sure there is some benefit to running right now… You think I am kidding but I’m not. Having time off allowed my mind to put some space between me and running. I don’t HAVE to do it anymore. I can choose to do it if and when I want to and that, my friends, is a feeling so great there are no words to express it.
3. I love walking. It’s easy. It’s enjoyable in the moment. I can wash my hair even less than I did before. There are way more people out there who are willing to go on a walk with you than a run. Danica wrote a great post on the benefits of walking.
4. Running is much more fun when you haven’t already put in 50+ miles that week.
5. I have discovered additional ways to cope with stress… Such as acupuncture, yoga, massage, and meditation.
6. I have more time to spend doing everything else. Life doesn’t revolve around getting a run in. I can make more elaborate breakfasts on Sundays since there’s more time. I do more arts and crafts. I have extra energy to hang out with friends… the list goes on and on
I fully intend to still be a runner in the future. What will be different is the number that it is on my priority list. Nothing should ever become such a huge part of your life that you can’t give it up. It kind of goes with the whole “not being attached to worldly things,” and “everything in moderation” sayings. I can honestly say I am extremely proud of myself for choosing to do this and sticking with it! So, I wrote about running, but really anything can creep up too high on a person’s priority list. After all, we are HUMAN and not God. Dang it. So this could apply to any kind of exercise, sports, money, food, a job, a relationship, you name it. I encourage you to try bring things back into balance if you feel like something’s shifted in your life and you aren’t proud of it. We all do it, and it’s simply an opportunity to practice bringing things back into moderation.
Have a great Monday.