Is there one quote that you have always loved or connected to? Something that inspires you to be the best version of yourself by simply glancing at the words? As I look back at my running journals and notes there have always been a few that naturally appear every couple of months on the page and then some that never leave the paper notes on my wall. This is a quote from the book Running Within that has traveled with me for the past 5-6 years through all of my moves:
Feel the flow of the dance and know you are not running for some future reward, for the real reward is now!
For those of you that know me (and for those that don’t, here is something new about me) know that I am not a numbers pesrson- I don’t own a GPS watch, never will, and if asked how many miles I ran last week….well, you’ll get a rounded guess. I lose track of repetitions even when I remember to start to counting them at all. In college I would put a dandelion on the track after each interval so I could keep count. Now I’m not recommending you to take off your watch and run widly through fields like a five year-old, unless that is what you want to do! Then for pity’s sake do it everyday! I have learned about myself that if I plan and think about all the details of mileage I begin to lose track of what I enjoy about running and see training as this mountain that I’m barely crawling up. The complexity of training, mileage, nutrition, drillls, etc. take over. For me, I am running my best when I’m simply enjoying the earth beneath each footstrike, the fresh air in my lungs, and feeling the strength of my body.
When I can’t run, I can’t feel the flow of the dance. In January and February of this year, I was running very little while we were down in Tallahassee for our winter training camp. My hip just did NOT want me to run. We all know how challenging it is to deal with setbacks. While my teamates were running workouts and getting solid training in for the spring and summer, I was going on long walks in the woods (Tallahassee has some fantastic trails by the way). Enjoyable, but not as much if I compared it to running. All along, Pete kept reminding me to have good, positive energy. A good coach knows this is an unquantifiable part in the recovery of a setback or injury. I had to go back to the purest place in my heart and find where my hope was. I believe my focus on my extrinsic competitive goals and details had become so overpowering that I had created tension in my body. I needed to be reminded to get back to my original enjoyment of the dance of running and focus on what excites me.
Less is more.
Feeling the joy of the dance.
I encourage you to find what it is that you love about running and emhasize the passion and energy it creates in you.
Embrace your being, your natural state and you will become the best version of yourself.