Life Lessons Learned from Running

Disclaimer: What I’m about to share is from my own experience. I acknowledge that I’m not in any way a running expert, or a running coach or trainer. The points made here are simply my opinion. If you’re a novice runner with a lot of questions, you won’t find answers here, as I consider myself also a beginner. This is only some random thoughts I had while running that I will share to you, dear readers.

For many months now, running has been my source of energy and inspiration. Every time I hit the track, I find a cozy solitude; I’m alone with my thoughts, the world is at peace, and I find myself alive and breathing. I feel that I’m doing something to make myself healthier, and that gives me tremendous motivation and grateful satisfaction to fully live the life God gave me.

I usually run in the mornings, from about 5:30 to 6:30 AM. For me, running is also a time for meditation, contemplating on the things I read that morning, talking to God in prayer, and reflecting on life. Here are some lessons I realized while running:

1. Planning and preparation does me good. As is in life, being ready is a key to excellence. Before I run, I already decide what my targets are: calories to burn, distance to cover, time to finish, and pace. I never perfect it, but at least I have a guide. I’ve found out that the same is true in life. Those times when I’m most prepared, I find the best results in whatever I do. Some people are not prepared to fail. Worse, others are not prepared to succeed. Life is full of uncertainties and aside from faith in God (the #1 weapon for uncertainties), we should plan and prepare. Of course, confide our plans to the Lord for He is ultimately in control of everything. (An important tip: Never forget to stretch before running. The best way to get ready to run.)

2. I should have patience in inconvenience. Let me tell you this truth: running is inconvenient. It only gives satisfaction when you have done it over and over again and are now experiencing its benefits. It takes discipline to get up early, especially in rainy weather, much more in tying your shoe laces and going outside. But, as in life, one should have discipline and patience in inconvenience to reap the rewards. Life is not all bed of roses. Nothing beautiful comes easy.

3. I only quit because I chose to. I observe myself many times while running. I stop running because I chose to, not because I’m tired or out of breath. I always feel that I could do more, but because of the above targets I mentioned, I stop when I reach them. The same is in life. I realize that I quit doing something because I chose to, not because someone stopped me or prevented me. It was always like that. Our freedom to choose is one of God’s greatest gifts to us if we learn to handle it responsibly.

4. It’s hard to start again when you stop. This is another thing that has made a mark in me. Whenever I stopped running, it’s hard to start again. That’s why I always tell myself to continue and go on, don’t quit, until I reach my targets. Because I’ve known, as soon as I get complacent, or stop, it’s hard to gather momentum and start again. Same with life, when we stop doing something, it’s difficult to begin again. When we want to achieve something, we must persevere. Perseverance is key to commitment, and commitment brings success.

5. Have fun, enjoy the run. Very important. The success I feel in achieving targets is just icing on the cake. It’s important that I enjoy the run, or it is doubly hard to reach it. The same in life. Let’s enjoy the journey, but fix our eyes on the destination. Let’s enjoy getting fit and healthy! Enjoy burning off our fat! Enjoy the sweat and the relaxation after the workout! It’s all in the mindset, but the benefits are great!