How I learned to enjoy running again with a few simple motivation tips and, more importantly in the process find the land of the living!
I’ve been running over half my life. I’ve also suffered from depression and anxiety half my life. In the past, through those dark moments, I’ve always relied on running to pull me out or at least lessen the darkness and pain.
This time was different. This time running didn’t work.
I lost all interest in running. It felt like a job. My only job at that since I’d lost mine… again.
Employers (most of them, not all) treat employees very differently nowadays. And, vice versa. However, being good at what you do, doesn’t matter anymore. Not much anyway.
Feeling Knocked Down
Being good at what you do doesn’t earn you anything to the majority of employers today. You are replaceable and ordinary.
It’s a hard lesson to learn especially when you spent half your career in a different era – being recognized for good work. Most places of employment see folks these days as just two hands (no brain, no heart) to do their work.
When I came to this realization it hit me hard. Like a ton of bricks.
It literally felt like a ton of bricks had fallen on me. Fell on my legs, crushed them and made them weak; useless.
Try running in that condition. It’ll kick your ass.
I still got in a few runs each week, but they were torture. I had no energy, no power, no freedom. No, nothing.
I decided I needed to take a break from running and try something different; new. I was already frustrated with life and now running – the thing that had helped ease my pain in the past.
Would I ever run or enjoy running again?
I forgot about running and starting focusing on other areas of my life that needed attention. I started paying more attention to myself. What self care things I could do to help me feel better and get back up again.
Of course, I did the usual stuff… started therapy, going to bed earlier, spending more time with my kids, husband. I began reading more, eating better, but I needed more.
Getting Back Up
I thought to myself, “What if I approached getting out of depression and living again like I would if I was going to get back into running? What would I do differently? What would I do the same?”
This required me to do a complete mind shift. Warning: This is not easy, but doable.
These techniques, this new way of thinking seemed ordinary at first, but after several weeks it clicked and made complete sense. I think it felt like I really wasn’t doing anything at first, because, in today’s age, we’re so used to popping a pill or get an injection or buying the latest techie gadget to get us where we want to be – fast!
However, these methods took a little more time and rightly so. I had to retrain my mind, my body. Retraining takes time. It’s not a quick fix. I knew this and had to gussy up some patience and a few other things…
Here are practices I put into place (and still doing!) to get back up again. To show the world, and myself that I’m not knocked out, I’m not done.
Routine, routine, routine.
Make it easy so you don’t have to think – put your self care on autopilot. Add reminders to your calendar to meditate, take a bath, read a chapter in your latest book, take a walk, or take a nap.
Call and schedule yourself a massage or book your personal training appointments, schedule lunch or coffee dates with a friend a month or two or three in advance. Set out your workout clothes the night before – hell, sleep in them so all you need to do is wake up and get going.
Be the tortoise, not the hare.
Slow and steady wins the race! It’s true. Don’t try to predict the future, or look at the big picture. Take baby steps on your new self care journey. Look at what you’re going to do today. Don’t kill yourself and run 5 miles. Run two and call it a day.
Think about how important what you do today (even if it’s just two things) will help you get a little closer to your goal – to happiness.
Pick a word.
Choose a word, a theme for this new chapter in your life. Define what the word means to you, and why it’s important so that when you slow down, get frustrated or get upset you can say it, think it, hear it and be reminded why you started in the first place.
When you’re struggling – shout it out and keep going. No giving up. Commit and finish strong.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take a break when you need it. Relax and rest so you can crush it the next day. Reflect on your accomplishments thus far and ease your mind.
It’s easy to get knocked down in this crazy world we live in, but don’t ever, ever let it knock you out.
Are You Knocked Out or Down?
Stay strong, put your gloves on and kick some ass. What are you gonna do today?
Comment below and tell me. C’mon – give me your best shot.