“I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.” -Arthur Blank
“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” –Oprah Winfrey
“Running is about finding your inner peace, and so is a life well lived.” -Dean Karnazes
I’m a runner. Wow, I never thought I would actually say that, but I am. I definitely never thought I’d go from not running to co-leading a running group. Now, I’m not the fastest runner and I haven’t broken past running 3.5 miles in one stretch. But I’m a runner! When I started out, I thought I would run so that I could get a regular fitness regime going. I had a close friend who was a certified running coach so she could teach me how to run properly. Then I decided to do an 8 week program with her that would culminate in my running a 5K. The thought of this brought up lots of anxiety in me and I tried to avoid thinking about it. I couldn’t see how I could go from having trouble running for 5 minutes to running an entire 5K. She assured me that I would get there and it would not be as hard as I imagined. Let’s be clear, I did not believe her! So, I did the program which gradually builds you up from running small intervals to running an entire 30 minute stretch at the completion of the program. What I learned along the way was profound and also led to the creation of our Commit to 5K running and life coaching program. So, you never know where something will take you. It’s best to just go along for the ride.
I’ve heard it said that running is a metaphor for life and I would have to agree. What has come up for me in the endeavor of running are things that apply to all my life challenges. Running has provided great lessons in the art of determination, resourcefulness, creativity, persistence, integrity, personal best, discipline, self-respect, and self-love, to name just a few. All of my self-defeating and limiting thought patterns have been brought to the surface. It has allowed me to work with them in a way that creates expansion and forward movement in my life. I come face to face with strong ego thoughts about myself as a slow runner, sometimes slower than those I coach to their first 5K. I admit that voice comes up sometimes, saying I’m clearly not as good as them and need to get faster. Now, I’m able to work with it, laugh at it, and remember that I’m only trying to do better than I have done, to beat my own personal best.
Running can be everything life is…humbling, challenging, majestic, powerful, tough, victorious, and on and on. I would venture to say that how you run is probably how you live your life. There are days I’m not sure I can do it, but I set out and even when it’s challenging I count myself successful that I’m out there doing it. I am rarely the runner who will just stop and walk when it feels tough. I will do whatever I can within my mind to create a space in which to follow through with whatever aim I set out for in distance and time. It is the most disciplined I have ever been in regards to physical fitness. I may fall off at times but there is a difference between falling off and quitting. My next intention is to push further out of my comfort zone in terms of speed and distance, because I know there are times when I can get stuck in my comfort zone. Running has been a great part of my ongoing transformation and self-commitment. I am not just running for some exercise, now I am running for my Life.
When I began running and came up against all of the obstacles to a regular fitness program that a working single mother would, it really tested my commitment. I began getting creative and resourceful in when and how I could do it, and I realized I was using all the tools in my life coaching bag on myself to stick to the program. When I shared this with my friend, Kirsten the running coach, the idea for Commit to 5K was born. We are now set to start our third group. We have guided two groups of women to the finish line and are now expanding to include a men’s group as well.
If you’d like to know more about the Commit to 5K program led by me and my partner, Kirsten Bell of KapaBle Koaching, click here to find out more. You can also check out our page on Facebook by clicking here. New groups are set to begin at the end of January 2013. Briefly, Commit to 5K is a 10-week program that combines life coaching with run coaching to ensure that participants reach their goal of not only crossing the finish line at their first 5K race but also establishing healthy, positive internal and external habits. It really does offer the opportunity to step on to the path of total transformation.