Life balance

Balance. The ultimate goal. Ricky Lankford


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How and why I started running

I ve been thinking to start running for years.. I ve made several unsuccessful attempts, but always gave up after 1-3 tries, each 4-5 minutes long. At some point I decided that Im just not a sport person, and I was OK with it for a long time.

This year many things have changed in my life. I changed work, ended relationships which meant a lot to me, I started driving school and i finally started running.

Inspiration came from a sport-maniac friend, but unlike all the other times – it stayed with me until now and turned to be part of my life. Why? What was different from all the other attempts in previous years?

Well, first of all, I had really good examples between my friends. I was hearing here and there how they do it, how they participate in massive runs or marathons, and mainly – how they enjoy it. Of course, they also tried to drag me into it. My first reaction was – me? running? or doing anything else except sitting on the couch or chair in the pub? NO WAY. Thats just not me, not my lifestyle, you know, Im not an active person,…. and many other important reasons. But under continuous stories about how cool sport is,  these excuses slowly turned into “maybe I should try”.

Meanwhile, being really not an active person, I started to realize how tired, exhausted i feel every day, the energy I had was just enough to come to work and to somehow get trough the day, and then go home, watch a movie or go to pub. I started to be chronically tired, i was breathing heavily after few seconds of run when catching the bus, I had a feeling Im falling apart.

Thoughts about doing some sport became stronger. I was not aiming for doing something professionally, but I started to realize that if i dont do something with my body now – it will be harder and harder with every year.

Of course I decided to try running – Its free, you can start anytime, its outdoor, and everyone is speaking about it. However my brain was still not ready and resisting a change, so it was postponed few times with “I have no running shoes, neither clothes”, or “cmon, the weather is terrible, I cant go run in rain or cold”…

One April day I came home, had nothing planned with friends, I was bored. The weather was amazing – warm and with fresh, pleasant wind. It was pity to stay home, so I just put on “not running” sport shoes and “not running” sport clothes and went outside.

I have run 3 minutes that day. These 3 minutes were probably the longest ever. I couldn’t breathe and I was exhausted and was thinking how the hell people do hours and even enjoy it… I barely finished my 3 minutes. Got some air, walked a bit and relaxed. And then, the huge wave of pride and satisfaction hit me.  I did it!!!  Happiness comes with the result. I moved my ass after months, no, years of immobility. Its not a lot, but it meant soo much to me!! I knew it was just a beginning.

And so it was. I went running again the day after. And then again. Then I bought RUNNING shoes. Amazing light running shoes, which were helping me to get motivated. I look so cool in them! I have to go running just to put this cool shoes on..

Ive chosen comfortable time –  evening after work, as even small hint of waking up at 6am just to run was giving me chill and immediate denial.

I started running regularly and improving every day. I went running even in rain, or when i was not feeling well. NOT RUNNING WAS NOT AN OPTION anymore. I train not only when I feel good and in the mood. I train no matter what, and I always feel better after.  At first I was running twice per week, then 3 times,then i tried to do it every day, I was adjusting and adjusting, modifying according to my schedules and my other plans. Now I run 3-4 times per week and adjusting my other plans according to running schedule 🙂

Since april I have improved a lot. I bought my first tracker – garmin forerunner. Tracking your records motivates even more. You always want to do better than previous time! Now Im running 5km , 30 mins – far from marathon, but this is my first significant achievement , and I can already see improvements in my health. I have more energy, feel more strong, im less nervous and worried, I sleep better and generally feel happier and more satisfied with my life.

I will participate in 5km rainbow run (where part of money goes for kids who have oncology diseases) in 2 weeks from now. My “non-sporty” friends start asking questions – Why would you run just to give some money to some charity if you can just give those money? Well. half year back all these runs didnt make sense to me neither. Now it is all clear: we run, because we love running. Doing this with huge amount of people – its a lot of fun and positive energy. Doing this to help other people  – gives purpose and even more satisfaction from the things we do.

Dont think that running became a toy for me, and its light and easy. Its not.. I struggle and suffer each time. First 15 minutes are now enjoyable – but only if Im in good shape that day. But the next 15 are just suffering. I want to stop and give up and generally – remind me why am I doing it?? but  I push trough, I talk to myself – I made it last time, and several times before – I can do it again! Look, this 70-years old grandpa is running, and I cant?? Im young and full of energy, of course I can!

And I make my 5km every time no matter what. And I know that I will do more. The feelings I have after are just not describable. I feel accomplished. i feel that i can do everything I want. I am more confident in myself. Im improving both mind and body, and there can’t be greater reward. This will pay me off big time.

We are where we are only because we are OK with that. Only when we stop being OK – we start to change.

I will finish this article and go put my shoes on – its hot in here these days, so i go running only after sun is down.

Good luck to everyone who is starting the same track!