Lately I’ve really been struggling with running. I cringe at the sight of a treadmill and it’s freaking me out for the ½ I’m supposed to run on Sunday (I may be swayed not to run it if the weather is awful…idk).
Last weekend I skipped my long run to sit on my bum and eat. Monday I was going to make up for it with a 6miler that ended up being just 3. But yesterday things changed a bit.
I ran outside. Just 4 miles, but it changed everything. Mostly, I had fun and remembered why I loved running. Plus I realized a few things about my life and the treadmill. Now I’m really trying to be more positive about my life, and I really don’t want this to come off all Debbie-Downer, but I just have to explain where I’m coming from with this. So while I won’t specifically say what is the “treadmill running of my life” I will explain what it has done to me through this metaphor.
At first the treadmill wasn’t bad. I was just happy to be in a warm place running. It was safe, secure. Sure, I was bored, but I knew that this was the best I could get at the time. I settled and tried to convince myself that it wasn’t that bad.
Then I got frustrated. I was “just bored” I thought. But then I realized that treadmill running just wasn’t doing anything for me. Namely, it wasn’t making me happy. And the whole reason I run is to be happier. To be fun. You see treadmill running was just helping me maintain the status quo. I was staying still, I wasn’t really going anywhere (literally I was staying in place). There was no where to move and grow, no where to take bigger strides and new challenges.
As humans I think we like to go places. Think of all of the great explorers and space travelers. Think of Forrest Gump. We just aren’t satisfied unless we are moving and checking out new things. I think we just need to constantly be on the go. During my fabulous run last night I realized the connection with “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.” This is one of the ACA’s biggest fundraisers, and its all focused on moving forward and going places – good change can not happen when you are staying in the same place.
In addition to the whole issue of staying still on the treadmill, I also realized that on the treadmill when I ran faster, it wasn’t because I was inspired to do so. It was because a button was pressed and I was forced to work harder or fall off and be hurt. I ran faster not because it was fun, or because I wanted to, but because I was scared of the consequences if I didn’t.
Running like life, isn’t always easy. But it can be rewarding, it can be fun. But I think, at least for me, the fun comes from working towards something you believe in, moving, going places, trying new things. Being inspired by yourself and not acting out of fear, spite, or anger.
There are things in my life that I LOVE. I have amazing friends, photographers (or I guess photographer – I’m no floozy) and family members, a roof over my head, a car to drive, food to eat (even if it’s all gluten-free), and a passion for something that challenges me and inspires me (that would be running).
But then there are things in my life that are less than great, like treadmill running, they aren’t doing anything to contribute to my success, to take me places, or to make me happy. I’m not motivated to work harder, I’m just working out of fear. And while on a whole I am very, very blessed I think its time to make strides to surround myself in things that make me happy.
But it’s scary. Treadmill running is safe. It’s inside, well lit and defiantly reliable. Right now I need treadmill running (and “treadmill running”)to support the life I love. So for now I will continue to treadmill run when I have to, but my new goal is to find ways to eliminate it all together, and eliminate its metaphorical counterpart in the other aspects of my life.
How about you, are you ready to get ride of the “treadmill running” in your life? And how do you prepare yourself to make that big scary leap?