Running, breathing, running
This weekend I did something completely outside my comfort zone: I went to an organized running event with two of my colleagues and finished it.
I was never a good runner. In fact, I was never really into running at all, which meant I did all the other possible options: dancing, soccer, basketball… you name it, I probably tried it at some point. Running on the other hand always stayed on the other side of the spectrum. I tried to avoid it as much as possible, except when it was really required from me by a PE teacher or a pointless chase behind a bus.
Now, in my defense, I’ve tried a few times to get a grip on this physical activity everybody was always so into. When I was still in high school I went to a park close by, ran for approximately 15 minutes, then returned home, showered and died for the rest of the day. That’s kind of where I left it, honestly, as I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I never really understood those who worshipped running, saying things like “It gives me focus” or “It calms me down and gives me time to reflect.” To me, running only caused a lot of muscle pain and an ocassional sore throat.
And yet, I ran for 5+ kilometers with thousands of other women who joined the DM run for women yesterday and I felt absolutely amazing. Guess people and circumstances change and most importantly, feeling and needs change.
I am currently on a mission: to eat and live better and to embrace more my human experience. I know, it sounds very cheesy, but it honestly is a mix of spiritual and physical for me. I read a few articles and research papers about meditation, exercise and eating habits, which made me very interested in my own habits and lifestyle. I will go more into detail how I track them now on another occasion but let’s just say for the purpose of this little piece of writing that 6 months ago my habits were bad and my diet was shit.
It took me some time (and it’s still not easy) to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle in all those categories. Especially challenging for me was the physical activity, which I always start doing, but never keep up with. At one point or another, I get lazy and skip a day, then two, then a week and voila, here comes a disappointed and sad Eva.
The running event was for me a tipping point. When my colleague suggested we should go together, a bunch of other coworkers chimed in and wanted to join her. I mused over the email invitation for some time and then decided that I should say yes to it, even thought I didn’t really feel like it. And so I did, and it was probably the best thing I could do.
How I succeded in this event? There are three main reasons for it:
- I took a commitment with other people.
- I paid for it (there was a participation fee).
- I made sure there was no way I could tap out.
I haven’t just said yes to participate in the running event, I made sure to actively follow the project and help with the organization of our group. I volunteered to go and buy the tickets for everyone, I collected the money and wrote a few emails suggesting a group pre-run workout so we could be better prepared for it. I checked myself in on the event’s Facebook page and told a few of my friends that I was going. In short, I was making myself accountable not only to me, but to others as well. If I tapped out, everybody would’ve found out, so there was no way out of it.
AND IT WORKED! I ran 5.6 kilometers (with a terrible uphill first part and a lovely downhill ending) in approx. 47 minutes. I am so proud of myself I cannot describe it properly and I am motivated more than ever to continue this habit and saying yes to competitions and events like this. So my suggestion to everyone who try to motivate themselves to do something like this is to just follow the above rules and stick to it. You will not regret it!