I Run

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I Run

I run. While I may miss a day here and there due to “life” happening, I manage to run almost every single day. Some days I walk and run. Some days I walk more than I run. Occasionally, I just walk. But I’m out there more than I’m not and I’m moving. That’s what’s important.

I’m not completely sure why I run. It’s not making me skinnier. I’m certainly not fast. At no point in the future, do I see myself being competitive, even in my age group. I just know that not running is not an option.

I run without music.  I let my mind wander. It’s my moving meditation time. Often as I cover the trails, I’m breaking down a situation and trying to figure it out. Sometimes, I think about my day and the people and things that make me happy or sad. Constantly, I’m checking in with my body. Does my knee hurt? My hip? Am I breathing too hard? Not hard enough? Do I need to pick up the pace? Slow it down?

I notice the chub that covers my six pack. Yes, it’s rolled itself over my waistband again and is jiggling along with each step. Then I think about how my thighs resemble sausages stuffed into my tights and the image of my imagined buttocks (I swear I haven’t actually looked at my tush in years) makes me just about black out.

I’m like that little engine chanting, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” while the other part of my brain keeps whispering, “no you can’t, no you can’t, no you can’t.” I dream of a day when I’m lithe and lean. It is a battle. Me vs. my body, the pavement, the hills. The positive part of my brain vs. the negative part. No, it’s a war.

I recently came across yet another article on the power of positive self-talk . I largely dismiss these because I think I talk pretty nice to myself.  I try to be honest with myself (I hate a liar), so I have to call it like I see it, but overall, I think I’m doing ok.

On this day, as I was driving to a trail anxious to squeeze in a quick jog before heading home to greet my daughter as she got off the bus, I thought maybe I should try, just this once, to replace my normal upbeat, “I think I can,” with a different upbeat slogan. As I jumped out of the van, I decided on the phrase, “I love you.”

You’ll have to cut me some slack here, I was in a rush and it was one suggested in the article. As I took off, I started repeating the words, “I love you” to myself over and over and over again. Before I realized it, I had added in the words, “I adore you,” and “you are awesome.” Yes, I felt really, really stupid, but I stuck with it.

After what felt like about a minute of running, I looked down at the clock and ten minutes had passed. I checked in with myself. Nothing hurt. The knees and hips felt great. The foot was fine. Form was good. Breathing steady. Hmmm. The second my mind went to my belly chub, I checked myself and went right back to my, “love you, adore you” mantra.

I finished my run feeling better than normal. I was energized rather than tired. I was happy. I don’t know if this new stream of words produced the positive results or if I just got lucky and had a good day. I do know that instead of trying to power through yet another run constantly fighting the part of my brain that wants me to crawl into bed and eat doughnuts all day, I just loved myself through it. As idiotic as I felt saying to myself (not out loud mind you), “you’re awesome,” I do probably need to give this self-talk thing another look and see if there are other areas in my life where I may need to love me up a bit.

In the meantime, I will continue to run. Not because I have to but because I can. My goal for my running is simple: run well so I can keep running until I’m really, really old. I will continue to remind myself that I don’t have to be fast or competitive. I will try to remember that it’s not about being skinny or strong.

I just have to move forward one foot in front of the other and be nice to myself in the process. As I move down paths and over trails, as I traverse city streets and bound through parks, I will try to accept running for what it is to me: my prayer, my moving meditation, my saving grace, and now an opportunity to love myself.


  1. Who would have guessed self-love would have such an immediate, positive effect?! I shall certainly give it a try… because for those of us who are not lithe, nor slim, nor aerobically fit… this whole moving thing creates more self-loathing talk than anything else.
    I could say I love me, but like you, I hate a liar.

  2. I wish I had read this blog post BEFORE my 5K today, LOL! But there is definitely something to the positive self-talk. For the past several weeks, every time I have caught myself saying something degrading and self-loathing – like “get out of bed, you lazy @$$” and “go to the gym, you fat pig” I have screamed STOP! inside my head and replaced the ugly words with more encouraging ones. It has helped tremendously. So why not “I love you”? It’s easy enough for me to say to other people. I love YOU, Denise! 🙂

    • You did a great job today. Be proud. Love you too!

  3. I love this. I have always been a walker. I walk to think. Like you it was often my saving grace before I figured out other ways of coping with life. I don’t do it as much as I’d like now (because I live in the US and drive most everywhere), but for me there’s nothing like a good walk to clean out the cobwebs.
    That’s great that you tried some positive self talk. I know what you mean about feeling silly doing it, but it sounds like it helped. I wonder if that will always be the case.
    Whatever happens, keep up the great walking 🙂

  4. Like the blog

    • Thanks for reading, Anita. Please subscribe if you want.

      • Walking in the presence of giants here. Cool tihnikng all around!


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