I listen to the sound of my footsteps in the morning, I can hear my breathing. In the quiet calm of the early morning, before the sun has even risen, I will be out for my morning run. It’s a time that I make just for me, I get to unplug and be alone with my thoughts. I’ve never spoiled that time by tuning out with music, and I never will.
In society today, we are conditioned to always be tuned out, distracted, or disconnected from our inner selves. We get uncomfortable with nothing to do, it’s difficult for any of us to fully realize our thoughts and feelings and sit with them even for a moment. Instead, we form coping skills: we eat, we drink, we sit in front of the TV or the computer. Left alone for a second and we pull out our phones to check social media, texts, emails, or play games. If we aren’t multi-tasking and stimulating more than one of our five senses at a time, we feel lazy and unproductive. The reality is, by trying to maximize the amount of stimuli you can handle at any given time, you are overwhelming yourself into shutting down from really recognizing anything.
Ever finish a task and realize it was all just a blur? How many things were you trying to do at once? Were you purposefully occupying every waking sense in order to not think or feel something in particular?
I may be guilty of doing all those things I just mentioned, but I will never do it with running. I run pure. As soon as my feet start moving, my thoughts start flowing. I run free, just me and my thoughts. I’m often asked what I think about when I run, the answer to that question changes everyday:
- I get inspiration for my blog, I start writing posts in my head
- I write college essays
- I plan out my day’s ‘to-do’s’
- I visualize my upcoming marathon
- I remind myself what I am training for
- I think about my past
- I think about whatever I happen to see along the way
Instead of fiddling with headphones and shuffling through songs on my playlist, I focus on tweaking my running form. Relax my shoulders, lift my knees, pelvis under torso, arms swinging powerfully front to back (not side to side), chin down, feet patting away beneath me. Instead of getting bogged down with the rhythm of the music, I pick my own pace.
When I finally stop for the day, I’ve somehow managed to sort through…everything. I never know how it really happens, but I always feel so much better. The slate has been wiped clean and I am ready for a brand new, shiny day to begin. I’ve sweated and breathed out all the old, and I am ready to begin today crisp and fresh.
So today I challenge you, make a date to just run with you. Don’t take along any distractions, make your runs a sacred time for just you and be comfortable with it. Embrace your running self ❤