I’ve always thought running was the biggest waste of time. And where I live everyone does it. As the day breaks and as it ends, people, clad in light, colourful, breathable, clothing dash past as the rest of us normal people enjoy our days in bed or walking along the beach.
The day I found out my work signed me up to be part of a marathon was a rough one. Not one to say no, I reluctantly agreed and thus began my training.
In a scant effort to eke out some enjoyment from the past couple weeks here’s what I’ve learnt in the past few month and a bit
Not what you do, but who you become
Starting new things is hard, we often place preparation, a plan and the right gear will get us pumped and ready to work out, but more often than not we can find ourselves lying down in bed in those very same workout clothes.
Borrowing a page off acclaimed productivity genius James Clear, the key to creating a good habit, are actions that affirm the person you want to become. Being a runner doesn’t mean doing 10km in 30mins but simply lacing up the shoes and heading out consistently.
The question is not, “What is the goal you want to achieve?” but “Who do you want to become?” Then you can build goals from working in reverse. Asking what would this type of person do?
Where in your life are you measuring yourself by unrealistic standards? Give yourself some grace…
Showing up is what counts.
“Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.” – Steve “Pre” Prefontaine
Pre was Nike’s first signature athlete. A long-distance runner who set records at every distance from 2,000m to 10,000m, alongside Nike founder Phil Knight created the first “running” boom. If Pre’s advice is to be taken, people around you may be faster, quicker, more talented than you, but they’re not going to win because they’ve outworked you
As we build into the person we want to become our goals and convictions are tested the most in moments when we’re tired and couldn’t be bothered. But once again it’s not what we do but who we’re becoming. No unrealistic of yourself, but showing up and doing what you need to do. ‘
As we continue to show up each time we come up against a challenge it gets easier, because the actions we take continue to work towards who we want to become.
That’s all I’ve learnt so far, running is still far from favourite thing but having this mindset has revealed capability that I didn’t know I had. Applying the same principles to different parts of my life, from faith to work has helped me grow.
Justin Sayson is a freelance journalist living on the Sunshine Coast. From about sport, music, faith or anything else, he’s always keen to discover more about the world around him. You can see more if his writing on justinsayson.com