When people ask me why I love running so much, my answer is always something like running makes me a better person. However, by judging at people’s faces I don’t think they still get what I’m saying. So, I decided to create this post trying to explain how is it that running can make you a better person.
Hopefully, Runners can agree to this or add their own thoughts in the comment section. Non runners can maybe take the courage to start running.
Now, “becoming a better person” through running is not something that happens holistically. I would resume that as a compilation of lessons that will change your attitude towards yourself and the world. Let’s say you experiment these in real life and compile them together, then you could potentially become a better person in many other aspects of your life.
This is how running made me a better person:
Adopt a resilient attitude: How many times have you started to run feeling completely miserable and then ended up feeling way happier? This happens to me like 90% of the time. If I decided to honor this negative stage and stop, I wouldn’t be able to complete any of my runs ever. Plus, I wouldn’t be able to feel that happy stage afterwards. So instead I decide to adopt a resilient attitude, meaning that I don’t think about the negative stuff and just keep running. When dealing with tough situations in real life this helps me to not think about the negatives and just keep doing what I need to do. Eventually, I’ll se the light at the end of the tunnel.
Be patient when things are not feeling good: Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel requires resilience (because you need to go through the darkness before you can even see the light). However, resilience also requires patience. I remember when I started running it didn’t feel good at all. Everything hurt, and breathing was so difficult. I remember thinking “Ok. I want to run for five more minutes. I’ll be patient. In 5 minutes this will be over” Later on, five minutes turned out to be 10, and then 20 and so on. Being patient has now become a virtue for me.
Let go of control: The only things I can control when running is my training plan and my mind. However, I can’t control how my body is going to feel. I can’t control the weather or many other external factors. Therefore, when my runs don’t come up as I planned I just don’t have any other option than let go of control. When I get sick the day before the race, it’s ok. When I didn’t run that last mile at my goal pace, it’s ok. When I didn’t wake up early that morning because I was too busy studying for my finals, it was also ok. Because there’s will be always a tomorrow to try again. There’s always a way to get around things and solve our problems.
Believe in yourself: I’ve always been a very confident person. But if two years ago I though I was going to be able to run as much as I run today, I would’ve laugh instantly. Now, I believe I’m capable of running so much more and accomplishing many other things I used to see very far in my life.
I can’t say I’m the same Nathaly I was two years ago, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. These life lessons that running has taught me could go on and on. I think I learn a new one every day, but overall these ones made a huge difference in my life.
Tell me about you: how running made you a better person?