Friday, March 30, 2012

The lessons that taught me commitment

Back in 2008, when I returned to running, I needed to view it with absolute commitment. 15 years prior to then, I was running regularly with a friend who was very passionate about the sport. At that time, my running was a novelty. I didn't really embrace it as a lifestyle. When my friend left NYC for a few weeks on business, I found every reason not to go out for my daily run. When she returned, I told her I was no longer a runner.

Like anything that's beneficial (but hard) full commitment is the key. But commitment is a slippery slope and my earlier efforts as a runner failed because I did not commit to the required discipline. I carried the lessons I learned from that earlier experience through my first weeks as a re-engaged runner:
  • Run at your own pace, not other's
  • Run only on clear roads or trails, it's far better than dodging pedestrians or traffic
  • Cover only the distances you can handle
  • Use the right gear, wear the right shoes
  • Benchmark your progress
  • In for a penny, in for a pound
It took me months to finally take one rest day every week, because I feared the slippery slope. After three and a half years of serious commitment, I know that every day I rest is merely a temporary respite from the work I'll be doing the next day. I'm currently experiencing some symptoms of a cold that has dragged me down a little. I chose to rest today instead of doing my morning run. Tomorrow I'll go out for 10 miles. Why? Because I'm committed.

3 comments:

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  2. We all need a refresher on commitment periodically. Thanks for writing. I've been following the blog for three months and especially enjoy the shoe/product reviews. If you ever need someone to help review jogging strollers I'm your man. I have a little guy who loves a ride and a below average stroller. Thanks.

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  3. Hi Jeff - great to hear from you and thanks for your kind words. I'm always happy to provide guest reviews on Runner's Tech Review. If you have a new product that you want to review send me a note about it: editor(at)emergingrunner.com.

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