Running will always be a part of my life, especially now that I’m a mentally strong runner. To stay consistent over 20+ years of running, I had to let running change my life.
All runners have experienced lulls at some point during their fitness journey. But those who allowed exercise to change their lives see the lulls for what they are, a blip on the radar. Becoming a mentally strong runner changed my life in this way. It gave me the confidence and strength to persevere.
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I’ve had a few running lulls in my lifetime, normally brief periods caused by outside forces. No matter what, I always found my way back. I always saw the journey as a whole, rather than focusing on a given lull. Currently I’m in one of my longest stretches of running consistency, but that doesn’t mean I take it for granted. I’m reveling in it!
My Running Diary: April 22, 2019
I’m proud to be a mentally strong runner, but my running journey is full of irony. When I was younger I had so much time to run, yet back then I’d delay my running, sleep through my alarm, and skip days. I was by no means a mentally strong runner. I had periods of mental running strength, but when life reared it’s ugly head, I’d let my strength go.
Over the course of my journey, I’d have long stretches of discipline and mental strength. This was always balanced by stretches of struggle. The summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college was challenging. I did not run and workout as much as the year prior. I had a hard time finding my balance, the gym was far from where I lived, and I had yet to embrace consistent running as part of my life. But I persevered and taught myself to keep going. No matter what went on that summer, I kept trying to run and workout.
Luckily, that summer I tapped into my mental strength as a runner. I learned what it felt like and even though I worked, had a boyfriend, and plenty of social engagements, I took the summer as my time to be disciplined. It’s that mental strength that I always chased.
That dedication I had to running when I seemingly had no responsibility is mental strength. Its finding what hooks you to running and allowing your life to change because of it. I’d consistently craved this change and striven to be mentally strong, with moments of shining through. But that summer was when I decided to shift my mindset and become a lifelong runner.
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Fast forward a few years and my strength has kept growing. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind about running during my pregnancy. I knew that even if I ended up having a C section, I’d get back into running after my delivery and recovery. The permanent shift in my mindset was complete. Running is something I do every day. It’s a part of my day and barring a planned break, extremely bad weather, or sickness, I get up and go run!
What I learned is that I was not a mentally strong runner until I made running a natural part of my day. It’s scheduled into my day just like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No matter what goes on in my life, I get up and run. Some call this discipline and yes it is, but it’s what I do for me. I call it making myself feel great.
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Our society touts physical exercise as this pedestal. Many people claim they don’t have time to workout, run, or take care of their physical body. Those thoughts and words are crazy and damaging. The one thing we all need to do is take care of our body. Keeping ourselves physically fit, sweating, and being healthy is essential for a happy and long life! Separate yourself from the people who think working out and running is difficult to fit into a 24 hour day. Its not!
Once I made running a natural part of my day, no matter what happened on my run, it no longer affected my next day’s run. If I ran slow, fast, short, or long, I no longer let any of those factors have a baring on the next day. Running is the one thing that I do for myself every day! I don’t let anyone or anything take that away from me. That is how I continue to be a mentally strong runner!
Meet Our Writer:
Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Staff Writer, and Featured Host at BuzzChomp. She’s an Actress, Writer, Director and Producer. Get lost in her Youtube comedy channel PillowTalk TV. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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