Those who know me know well that I like running and there were periods in my life when I was seriously hooked on it, especially about 4 years ago when my husband and I trained for our first marathon. We used to run few times a week for anything from 10 to 25 km, enjoying the conversations, fresh air (and fresh ideas) and the high that inevitably comes with running. We ran the marathon, afterwards my husband ran a second one (I ran a half-marathon then) and we felt that we in a way achieved our goals and we lost our interest a bit. So from then I would run sometimes, but it never was really consistent anymore (I do all kinds of other sports so I don’t feel the pressure to run consistently to be in shape), so when two weeks ago I started running again each morning it was surprising even for me. After few years of running just sometimes I wasn’t in that good shape for running and it’s November, mornings are dark and it’s quite chilly outside- seems like many reasons (excuses ;) ) to not run. To be honest I started it not because I wanted, but because of the busy schedule which didn’t left me with enough time to go to the gym or yoga and I felt the need to do ANYTHING active to stay healthy & sane. On 3rd day in my daily running I had a coaching session with my lovely coach Hanna and we talked about creating habits that last and feeling good & healthy when you’re on busy schedule. We decided to make it into a habit- running daily, each morning, no excuses allowed for minimum of two weeks :-) I’m proud to say I managed to do this and that this experiment was very successful :-)
So I ran daily, each morning before breakfast for 15 or (most of the time) 30 minutes. To be honest I expected I would get too tired, too bored, it will be too cold or rainy or… You know the way mind works, it imagines things far worse than they are in reality :-)
This seemingly simple act of running daily gave quite a few lessons:
1. The most difficult part is not to run physically, that’s actually easy. The difficult part is to convince your mind and use your willpower to start doing it. And when you don’t need to decide will you do it today or tomorrow it makes things SO much easier. It’s the possibility of not doing it today that makes the whole thing difficult and when you just start considering that option your mind will find all the reasons to do it tomorrow :-) I was surprised, but I found it so much easier to run daily, than to run 3 times a week. Give it a try :-) (this applies to any habit, not only running obviously)
2. Sleep is overrated :-) I’m a bit joking here, I definitely lack some sleep after these days, because my schedule was busy and I skipped some sleep and woke up early to run, but if you want to do something, you will find time. And morning is the time when you have the most willpower to do “difficult” things.
3. As I already had one must-do habit for the day it was easier to add another habits- I meditated daily before the run almost all days. You train your mind that this happens after that, no questioning and no other options :-) I also drank more fresh juices & ate better (except on the days when I was on photo shoots, I still need to work on that…), because I knew that with everyday exercise my body needs proper fuel.
5. Increased inspiration & energy is a very nice by-product of daily run. There’s something magical and inspiring about being up so early, seeing the sunrise, being in nature and listening to audios you like and I felt full of ideas and with much more energy than normally. And this feeling of being fully alive is what I crave the most in life.
6. You get a bit sore muscles, but much less than I expected (thankfully bath with Epson salt & massage with sesame oil and essential oils help with that). And you get nice abs :-)
7. The first week was easy and really joyful, but the second week I had few days of photo shoots where I needed to be on location early and this obviously makes things more difficult. My sleep schedule suffered, my self-care routine as well, but I managed to stay on track with running and I’m proud of myself that I did. It’s very easy to skip once when you’re trying to get new habits and then just quit altogether because of one-time “failure”, so it was important to me to not do this mistake. I know I can get back to my better sleep & self care routine and I have more self confidence now because I did what I decided to do without failing. Obviously things won’t be easy and perfect all the time, but it’s important to know your goals, adjust as you go and don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect :-)
8. If you love your body & want to keep it healthy, you should sweat daily & be outside daily. It can be not running, but please, do it :-) Our bodies are designed to move (plus sweating removes toxins from your body) and I felt how much my body craved that.
Tomorrow evening I’m going for a mini vacation in Porto, Portugal and I’m taking my sneakers with me ;)
With love and inspiration,