Running = Free Therapy

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I’ve received several emails over the past month asking the same question,

“How do you make yourself like running… What is your secret?”

In grade school and high school, running used to be about competing against whoever my opponent was on the track & cross country team. As I transitioned into college, I competed against the stigma that all college students gain the dreaded “freshman fifteen”. Now, it isn’t about any of that. I run to compete against the daily frustrations and stresses that sometimes get the best of me. I run to compete and flush out any negative feelings that cloud my mind. I run to feel good and at peace with myself. My competition is the negativity that I sometimes feel, and I am determined to overcome the bad feelings.

Something I have always struggled with is letting go of the little things – whether it is a disagreement with a friend, something said that hurt my feelings, or just an overall bad day. It is sometimes hard for me to not let those little stressors affect my day, my mood, and how I treat others. I have had to work at this and continue to each day. How have I learned to manage any negative emotions I might feel? I take that anger and tell myself I’m going to turn it into something productive. I get my butt to the gym and start running on the treadmill. Then I replay in my head what is bothering me. I go through each frustration, one by one, and I ask myself, “is this worth ruining a day over? Is it worth risking taking your anger out on the people you love?”. The answer is always no! I don’t always set a certain time or mileage to complete before I stop running. There are days where I decide to only stop after acknowledging the petty things that bother me and then letting them go. It is the best free therapy 😜

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You see, there really isn’t a secret. I do it because it genuinely makes me happy and at peace with myself. My advice is to find a positive outlet that helps you deal with everyday frustrations. It doesn’t have to be running! It could be going on a long walk and talking to a friend, reading a book, going to yoga class, or something else! Just keep in mind that it isn’t worth holding on to the insignificant things that bother us. Let’s not be prisoners within our own minds. It’s just not worth it. With the new year coming up, I felt this was definitely something to touch base on with all of you.

Thanks for reading! Happy almost Christmas 🙂

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