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"Our greatest gains are found in the exact places we choose not to go"

April 13th, 2009 No Comments


Running is beautiful in its simplicity.  We set the body in motion and keep it in motion.  Okay, so how do we do this?  Well, we lift and drop one foot in front of the next.  We also breathe.  Eventually, we vary speed and distance.  That’s it.  Like I said, it really is quite simple.  Still, talk to most people and they’ll avoid a run like it’s the plague.  Running is difficult on the mind and body.  Naturally, we tend to avoid it, ignoring the simple notion that our greatest gains are found in the exact places we choose not to go.  It’s the one cardiovascular exercise I have never heard associated with the body “peaking out.”  If you get into the habit of running a few days a week for a few months, you will lose weight, and you will feel stronger, and you will be a happier person.  Someday, perhaps I’ll put some depth into my physical and psychological claims, but today, let’s remain on the task of breaking ground.

There is one constant that holds firm in every aspect of my training – from running a 5k to teaching a spin class to lifting weights to doing power yoga to training for the 26.2 miles of a marathon.  In my mind, I’ve come to label it as The Push.  In terms of running, it means a variety of things.  It means when you wake up in the morning and don’t feel like going for a jog, The Push gets you out of bed, puts you on the road.  It means when you’re out on the road and you’ve committed to running 5 miles, you don’t pull up at 3 because 3 is “good enough”.  It means that if you’re comfortable running a 9 minute mile, The Push lowers your pace to an 8:45, or an 8:30, or a 7:30 because it’s possible, because when you commit to letting it kick in, the option of selling short simply fades away. 

And if none of the above is clicking for you, if it’s too much rhetoric, then just be superficial.  Look better, be reminded what Spring looks like, meet hot people doing it.  Whatever it takes.  Get out and go.  After all, summer is coming.