Written by Linda Reddin

Running Fortifies the Mind-Body-Spirit

Running has always been good for me - mentally, physically and emotionally. Nothing clears my mind or stirs up my energy and creative juices like running! 

I’ve enjoyed running since I was young. Why did I stop? Like many people, I got injured. That was two years ago. In the meantime, I took up walking and hiking in nature, which was great. But, I still missed what running gave me - mind/body stamina.

Accept Reality

I HAD TO ACCEPT IT when I realized that my knee would never fully heal or be the same as before. Furthermore, surgery wasn’t guaranteed, so there was no point in waiting anymore. 

What's Possible?

I noticed that I could run a little without pain as long as I wore my knee brace, so a running habit was possible. I just had to play it smart and have a plan. That meant I had to start slow and monitor my progress to make changes as I went.

Start to Create Your Plan

My goal was to start running regularly. However, I knew that friction, discomfort and discouragement would knock me off-course and prompt me to give up. So, I needed a plan to overcome my barriers to success. A plan outline begins with two fundamentals.

Set Ground Rules

Set your non-negotiables for your safety and success. The first was to always to wear my knee brace. Next, I would adjust my stride, speed or distance as needed. To read how rules help build new habits, find it here.

Identify Obstacles

The road to successful goal achievement begins with identifying and removing any obstacles that may get in your way. For most humans, this means ensuring that you stay safe and have the energy, capability and the right mindset and environment to achieve your goal.

Once I had addressed the two biggest factors for success, I had to figure out how to make it work within my regular flow of life and work. I created a strategic plan which looked like this.

Structure for Success

  • Mental: Go early in the day, right after coffee, before changing your mind.

  • Physical: Run on an empty stomach. You’ll feel better and enjoy it more! 

  • Safety: Pick a scenic but safe route with little-to-no traffic.

  • Set an Achievable Goal: Walk, then run. I would begin each outing with, “I’m only going to walk unless I feel stirred to run. It worked; 9x out of 10, I ran.
  • Make it Fun: Enjoy the view, the fresh air and the space to clear your mind, heart and soul! 
  • Celebrate Your Wins. Accept your starting place and be grateful for what you “can do.” Cheer on your progress. Share your joy with friends or a pic on Instagram.

Bonus: Life Lessons

Be Adaptable

When I accepted that my knees would never be the same after my fall, I became receptive to the next best thing. My attitude changed and I was happier than before. This got me thinking; nature adapts automatically. Trees and streams are excellent examples of adapting to change.

Change happens when you let go of entitlement and open your mind to what’s possible.

Be Positive

So the next time you find yourself complaining, see how you can turn a negative thought into a positive statement. For instance, I’ve replaced “I can’t run anymore without a knee brace” with “I can run again. I use a knee brace for support.”

Doesn’t that feel so much better? It’s downright exciting when you put it that way!

Be Empowered

When you turn a negative into a positive, your mindset shifts and your outlook improves. 

Instead of being a victim, you become a victor over adversity. You find joy instead of despair.

You can do anything you set your mind to achieve Once you find your power.

I reclaimed my power through my return to running. It’s up to you to use or reclaim yours!

Read More Articles:

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