"There are no magic pills for success, but I choose to believe that there are some common factors that all successful and happy individuals share."
I started my athletic journey as a wrestler in high school, and most wrestlers tend to HATE running. Running for wrestlers only had two purposes: sprints for punishment from slacking off, or cutting weight on a treadmill to be able to compete the next day. You could make an educated guess by saying that I started out in the group that hated running, and you would be right. How did I go from hating the sport to loving it so much that I train others how to love it as well?
There never was an exact guide that transitioned me out of the "I hate running club" to the marathon community. Running started out as a stress reliever from college classes, and finally turned into life-changing hobby after I discovered the runner's high while training for my first half marathon. There are only a few key differences in my routine that have helped to change my perception of the sport:
1. The Transfer of Positive Energy
During a very hot and long-run this season, I noticed a fellow runner struggling to keep up with our groups pace. I was also struggling, but I gave her a fist bump, told her that she was doing great and that we were almost done. I noticed her breath begin to slow and her pace begin to smooth. This act of transferring positive energy not only helped her to finish, but it helped me to finish as well.
2. Find Your Flow
Every run is going to start out rough with aches and pains. Understand that this is normal, fight through it, and wait for your muscles to warm up. Ditch the headphones, listen to your breath and body. You will begin to find a connection between your mind and body that I have only found to come from a natural run.
Solo running can be an act of meditation that allows you to focus on one task at a time. This is very beneficial for your mind if you don't regularly meditate like me. I have also found that plugging yourself into a running community will drastically improve your perception of the sport. There is something to be said about meeting a group of individuals who are all striving to be better than they were the day before. Community runs are so powerful for growth and happiness within this sport.
After analyzing these three running-routines and the effect that it had on my perception of the sport, I realized that these indirectly carried over to my daily life as well. I began to notice my energy levels rise when lifting others up. I began to ease into painful situations while patiently wait for a state of flow to pick up. I began to spend more time within a larger community of like-minded people. There are no magic pills to success, but I choose to believe that there are common factors that all successful and happy individuals share.