This morning, when I decided to allow myself a first gentle morning run after my little surgery a few weeks ago, when I saw myself literally jumping of joy like a young deer, zigzagging, singing to the words of “Like the way I do” echoing in my ears, I wondered what had happened to the 16-year old girl that almost cried when her PE teacher told her that in today’s class, she would have to “focus on improving her running time”. Again.
What happened to 23-year old me who was motivated to get fit, look good and sexy... but who was panting for air every time she joined her boyfriend for a short run, declaring that running just wasn’t for her?
When did I start to enjoy my morning run?
When did it click?
I couldn’t find any plausible answer at first. But then I thought, “It’s the story I tell myself, about myself and about running. It’s the story I tell myself over and over again.”
Back in the days when I told myself - and everyone who wanted to hear it - that running was not for me, I had declared defeat in my head before I even started a run.
“I want to look fit. I want to look thin. I want to be one of the cool and good-looking girls that just run for pleasure. It seems so easy when they run. But, man, running is hard. I don’t like running. It’s tiring. It’ll be a loooong run. I will be out of breath. I will want to stop after 5 minutes. Omg, see here it goes. I’m 5 minutes into my run and it is pure torture. Ok, that’s it. I am stopping here. I will walk from now on. See, I told you. Running just isn’t for me.”
Here are a few of my thoughts now:
“Ok, let’s go out and get some fresh air and some sun this morning. How do I feel today? Do I feel like running? Or should I go for a simple walk instead? Hmm. Let’s start with a walk. And put some music on. Or do I prefer an audiobook? No. Let’s start with some music to get me into the mood. Ahh I love the Christmas decorations they have put up in the Botanical Gardens.
Oh I feel like I could go a little faster. I love this song. I love this beat. One foot in front of the other. Focus on the breathing, Tani. Breathe in regularly. And deeply.
Don’t go too fast too quickly. Always go slower than you think you can. It should feel easy and fun. You should be able to sing and talk at all times. Ahh that feels good. But I think that’s enough for today. Let’s walk a little.”
There is no pressure anymore.
The focus is on the process.
Not the result.
I listen to my body.
Not the voices in my head telling me what I should do. And what I cannot do.
“It’s the story I tell myself, about myself and about running.
It’s the story I tell myself over and over again.”
Running is as hard as I make it.
And I am as capable of running as I allow myself to be.
Listen to the story you tell yourself every day, to the voices in your head.
Make sure they are encouraging, gentle and caring.
Not just when it comes to running. But also for everything else 💕
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Much love, Tani x