How Running Taught Me To Embrace The Pace Of My Own Journey
Running doesn't come easily to me.
In fact, sometimes, it is very challenging. But despite all of its challenges and hardships, I still love doing it.
I remember joining my elementary’s Cross Country team one year. I almost always finished last or second to last. At the time, it was a real bummer and kind of embarrassing.
Because all I could think about was how horrible and embarrassing it must have looked to all my teammates and everyone there.
To finish last, every time? How embarrassing, right?
But looking back on the experience now:
The more important lesson was that I had the courage to start.
Even more so, I had the courage to continue running even after it was clear to me that I would not finish in the middle of the pack, but at the very end when everyone else had crossed the finish line 10 minutes ago.
And sometimes that’s life.
Who cares if you’re at the end of the pack? At least you’re still out there trying. Some people don’t even try at all.
Go at your own pace.
Life doesn’t have to be a competition. It doesn’t have to be about who’s better, who’s more talented, who has more money, who has a higher status, who can buy more things, etc., unless that’s what you make your life out to be about.
You get to decide what your life is like.
Many of us grew up with the mentality that we have to be the best at everything, because that’s what school and society taught us.
We were taught that there could only be one winner, but what if there were multiple winners? What if we could all be winners?
Running isn’t a competitive sport for me; it could be, but that would take the fun and joy out.
The beauty of running is that I get to choose my own pace, where I want to run, and how long I want to run. It’s all up to me.
And the best part is I don’t have to feel bad if I run at a 12 minute pace, because I’m not comparing myself to anyone else.
We can celebrate each other while celebrating ourselves.
Because the thing is, we’re all on our own journey and we’re all living our life the way we want to.
There is no right or wrong way to live life.
And you already knew that, right?
You know what’s best for you. You know what feels good and true to you, and that’s what matters.
I remember running on this trial a few months ago and it seemed like everyone was effortlessly running pass me, and I thought, “Man, am I really that slow?” And before the negative self-talk came rushing in like an avalanche, I stopped myself and I thought, “Yup, I’m a slow runner. So what?"
I don’t run because I want to be fast and the best.
I run because it brings me joy and peace.
I run because I can listen to my podcasts while providing endorphins for my body.
I run because I get to learn something new about life and myself every time I get out there.
I run because it’s taught me to never give up and that you can always continue where you left off.
To me, running is healing and patient and kind.
Running doesn’t care if I haven’t ran for 5 days or 5 months. It’s always there for me when I do start running again.
Running doesn’t judge me.
It doesn’t make me feel bad about myself; only I can do that.
When you feel bad about yourself, more often than not, it’s not that thing that makes you feel bad. It’s yourself. It’s that negative self-talk you feed to yourself.
Running has taught me about perspective and having a better attitude. It’s taught me about being grateful for my legs, my body, my mind, and everything else, because I wouldn’t be able to run otherwise.
Running has taught me so, so many things about my life and how I want to live my life.
Most of all, running has taught me to embrace the pace of my own journey.
Because like with running, I don’t want to do exactly what everyone else is doing with their life.
I don’t have the same goals as them. The same vision, the same passion, the same desires.
My desires and wants aren’t the same as theirs. And it would be unfair to both of us if I played the comparison game.
Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, spend that energy and time embracing you. Who you are and how you show up in the world.
Be the woman that you want to be.
There's enough room on the track for all of us.
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Hi there! I'm Molly, the founder of Wholehearted Woman.
Be the person you needed when you were younger and share your story, because you're the one who someone else needs today.