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Day 52: What I’ve Learned From Running

A little while ago I started running on the treadmill more than I ever have in the past. As a dancer, I was always told to avoid running because it could shorten the muscles needed to do ballet. However, stress can be the best motivator and one day when it was too overwhelming I found myself on the treadmill. Since then it had become quite the habit.

Running twice a week has become an incredibly therapeutic session, it allows me time to think and little pound the stress out of my body. Not only that I have learned quite a few lessons from engaging in this weekly practice and I would like to share them with you.

1. Keep Going.

The first thing I would like to say is that when it hurts, when you feel a cramp in your side, when something starts to bother you . . . that is when you need to keep going. In those moments when it feels like you cannot keep going, you would be surprised at how much more you can take. It is the same way in life. When we feel resistance and when we feel the pain, that is when we need to push even harder. If we do this, the satisfaction and success we earn at the end of it will be far more rewarding than if we give up now.

2. Know Your Limits . . . Break Them.

Everyone has their limits. After about three laps my body wants to give up and after about eight laps I’ve reached my max for how long I can run consistently at six mph. These are my limits after three weeks of running. I know this to be true and I also know that in order to run further, to burn more calories, and to get rid of more stress I have to break these limitations. We all have our limits, we need to learn them and understand them. And the first thing we need to do when we know our limits is break them. This will lead to new opportunities, personal growth, and so many unimaginable things.

3. Pain Is Inevitable.

There will be pain. We cannot avoid it and that is okay. I am injured from years of ballet and because of that when I run there is an incredible amount of pain. However, even though there is pain, the benefits of running outweigh it all. Instant stress relief, health benefits, and many other things come from running. I have accepted the fact that there will be pain for the fact that I will gain these other things. In life we will be faced with all kinds of pain, however pushing ourselves will often lead to other rewards. Getting through it will lead to incredible things, we just have to understand that it will be difficult while we are going through it.

5. Satisfaction Will Come.

After it all, when the treadmill is turned off, when I have caught my breath, and when the running shoes comes off . . . that is when the satisfaction comes. I put myself through the pain and the hardship of running with the knowledge that after I get through it, I will be proud of myself. Accomplishing something like running is a beautiful feeling and you begin to forget what you went through to get there. The same thing happens in life. We go through pain and we put ourselves through difficulties in order to reach a destination. When we get there we learn from the process, but we forget about the hardships.

4. You Are Not Your Pain.

When running, I push myself and I push my injuries more than I probably should. However, the biggest motivation I have is that I am not my pain. What I am going through is not part of me, it is simply happening to me. The same is true in life, we are not the pain we are going through. It is happening to us, it is not part of us, eventually that which we are experiencing will dissipate. The pain you are going through will pass, it will not last forever. Remember that.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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