Three Life Lessons I Learned From Running

By May 9, 2017Motivation, Move

I had such an awesome run Morgan Freeman should’ve narrated it.

Running is likely one of the world’s most basic (but challenging) forms of exercise. It requires a slew of highly developed emotional and physical qualities to really pursue the sport.

Though running can be exceptionally painful, it is worth all the challenge that comes with it. Running has the power to teach us endlessly important lessons. Through my eight years of running, the three most important lessons I have learned are:

1. Emotional Resilience 

Running can be frustrating. You see marathon runners, Olympic track stars, and crazy ultra 100-mile racers all over the media. They seem to flow through their races with ease and grace as their legs effortlessly work beneath them.

Meanwhile, for us regular folk, sometimes an easy 3-miler or a few intervals seems like an impossible challenge.

It’s easy for us to give up and get down on ourselves. However, we must remember that hard work breeds better results, and though we may never be that Olympic champion, we can become the most determined, fastest, and best versions of our runner selves. Through running, we realize that our hard work will take us places and allow us to achieve our dreams.

2. What Goes Up Must Come Down

This one is pretty literal. It applies to hills, yes, but also the highs and lows of existence.

There will always be good times, and there will always be bad times. Both are inescapable, but both provide valuable lessons. Without the good, the bad would be unbearable. And without the bad, the good would be less sweet. So next time you’re dreading that hill, just remember: keep going, keep striding, and soon you’ll be coasting toward victory.

3. Hold Your Judgement

Let’s say you see someone out on a run. They’re jogging slowly, with labored breath. Your first thought may be to say, “Run, Forrest, Run!” or maybe make a comment on how sluggish they are. I ask you, from now on, to refrain from judging this runner.

You don’t know if this is their first mile ever, or their 18th mile out of 20. You don’t know if they’re recovering from an injury, or just trying to get back on the workout wagon. Maybe that mile is their newest personal record– and even if it’s not quite up to par with your PR, or another runner’s, it’s a wonderful accomplishment nonetheless.

In all situations, it’s not your place or your right to judge this individual. A person on a run is just like any other individual you will encounter in life. Instead of judging their situation: root for them, support them, think kindly of them. This positive mindset and compassion toward others will take you far in life.

Running has proven to be challenging and heartbreaking, but also beautiful and awe-inspiring. I am proud to be a runner, for running has taught me how to be a better friend, leader, and citizen of the world, and without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

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Author Casey Douglas

Casey Douglas is a junior year at Boston University, where she studies public relations and anthropology. In her free time, she enjoys lifting weights, getting lost on runs in the city, and eating grapes. Casey hopes to one day work in the communications industry and represent a company in the field of health and fitness.

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