First of all, this is my 50th post since I started writing this blog. I write mostly for myself, but I do enjoy knowing that there are a few people who may find my stories slightly interesting. I hope that I can be a positive influence on others and maybe even entice a few folks to take a crack at this running thing.
Last night I also realized that I enjoy encouraging others to be successful runners. I couldn’t have been happier when I was asked to be a running coach for Team in Training. I am not an elite runner so it may seem as though I don’t have a lot to offer the novice runner. Quite the contrary, in fact, because I have a lot of passion. I am also human and just plain average when it comes to running. I do make mistakes and I expect my trainees to learn from my mistakes so that is why I share my embarrassing stories. You just have to be willing to remain humble.
With that said, I love encouraging others to work harder and strive for greatness. I suppose that is why I became a teacher. Since I am not currently teaching, I guess that this is my new outlet for helping others. However, when it comes to this team, I find that I don’t have to try very hard. They seem to find the motivation within themselves to push through the tough terrain. I must say that I am proud to run next to someone who has made a choice to work towards running further from one training run to the next. I know it isn’t easy to do something that pushes your body to the limit. It is amazing what we can do when we put our minds to it.
Some do need more encouragement than others. When an activity becomes too tough it is human nature to back off and take the path of least resistance. That was how I used to approach running. If it became too hard, then I would slow down. Yet, running is very much a mental game. I have learned that if I push back when it gets difficult, then I can achieve more than I ever have before. It does take a lot of willpower to do this, but it can be done. One step at a time is the best approach. You can’t expect to run a half-marathon in under 2 hours overnight.
Not only does it take willpower, but it takes passion. You can only achieve greatness if you want to. Someone recently told me that they didn’t want to run fast. Well, they won’t run fast. If you don’t want to run far, then you won’t run far. That makes perfect sense. What doesn’t make sense is when you say that you can’t. If you want to, then you can. It does take work though. Sometimes people can’t do something because they don’t want to work at it.
I tell my trainees that if they make it over the hill before everyone else, then they have to turn around and come back up the hill. If they want to improve their running and not just settle for what feels comfortable, then they will turn around and come back up the hill. Yes, it is a challenge, but that’s the point. The point is to move out of your comfort level in order to achieve what you never thought possible.