Oregon Runner Considers Therapy of Listening to Self
I went running today. I would not consider myself a runner yet I do run. I picked it up after adopting my son and I stopped going to the gym. I needed the exercise for my general well being and I feel better when I get my heart rate up. I stopped after a knee injury and then picked it up again once in the pandemic. So this go around I have been running for almost a year, so really I think I can call myself a runner.
How do we characterize ourselves? What labels do we own or push away. What do others put on us that we accept or reject. Sometimes these labels can be helpful and sometimes limiting.
I would not say I like running. Often times I choose to push myself to go because I really don’t want to. Pick the excuse: it is hard, it is rainy and cold, it is not a good time, maybe the rain will stop, I can do it later. And I learned years ago after going to gym classes regularly that I always felt better after. I used to have a chat with my future self when I didn’t want to go. And she always said, “You will feel better. Go. Talk to me after. Move it. Just go.” She gave me a gentle shove out. And I have learned to listen to her. And to be honest, I did sometimes have this conversation out loud. Now I just experience a deep down knowing to go now; if I wait too long the inaction will become the decision of not going because there isn’t enough time.
Can we all check in with our future selves and see what may be something that would be beneficial in the future that we may not see or know now? How often do we listen to this? How often do we choose the easy instead of the hard, and choose not to push ourselves?
I do not run for speed. Or for distance. I do not compete yet. I do compete against myself. I push myself to go a little harder in the big picture. And I also listen to my body when it says it needs something easier. Better, faster, harder is not always better. I have good days and bad days; days when I need some slow gentle run and days when I need to push hard.
Can we give ourselves compassion and listen to what we need? And to be okay with what we need changing?
Just a few thoughts running through my head (no pun intended, yet a good one).