Haven recently quit my job a few months ago, I’m finding that I am running out of excuses as to why I haven’t been running. I used to run at least 3 times a week but stopped 8 months ago. I wish I could say there was a grand and dramatic reason for why I stopped – but the truth is – I just stopped! I do know that there was so much clutter in my life at the time, working in an unfulfilling job being one of them, that I gradually started to let things go. Maybe I was trying to free up brain space, maybe my emotional energy was too low for me to muscle up the physical energy to get out there, maybe it was the winter cold. Too many maybes, too many variables – I just stopped.
Should I be ashamed or disappointed with myself? Well I’m not, sh*t happens – you start things, you stop things and sometimes you start again. What’s important to me is that I recognised that something was missing, something was slightly off kilter in the fragile “mind-body-spirit” dance of life. That recognition slowly worked its way into action and last week something just clicked, I started running again. Everyday. With each run I started to fill a void that I did not even know was there. So I have decided to run everyday until the end of spring.
I run for the physical challenge. But honestly, that is not what gets me out there in the morning and keeps me going. It’s the mental, almost meditative aspects of running that I cherish. The places my mind wanders, the times I’m free of any thought; present in my body. Feeling every step, every breath, everything working in perfect unison. Then there are the times that feel like torture: every part of me resists, but I persist nonetheless because the euphoria of finishing, of making it back home, well…is just euphoric.
To keep on going you have to keep up the rhythm.
I’m an all-in kind of gal – I rarely do well with half measures. I like to make things as easy as possible: taking the path of least resistance. This means, not confusing my mind and body. Maybe I’m just simple, but its easier and more efficient for me to aim to run everyday than choosing a few days in the week to run. I guess it’s the element of CHOICE that I find tricky. Once there is choice there is doubt; questions are raised, statements are made: “I’ll run tomorrow”, “it’s raining today”, “I ran yesterday”. My preference is to avoid all of that with a simple phrase – YOU RUN EVERYDAY! Less fraffing around, more running.
“What about rest days”, I hear you screaming. Rest as you run. Meaning some days I head out there and aim to run fast – racing against my best times. Other days I get out there and just jog, no pressure, no set distance in mind, I just run until I feel like coming home. Neither the speed, nor the distance is important. You decide each day what you want to achieve; what you want to get out of it. But if you get out and run everyday, you’ve already achieved- you’ve already won. Everything else is a bonus.
I thrive off challenges, and pressure. And there’s no greater pressure than peer pressure. I log into my Nike Running app and see that my friend Sherelle (@sherelledavids) has run a whopping 40km more than me this month- well that just stings. She motivated me to do better and I’m sure it will work the other way- as I run more it will encourage her to run more. We will stick together and challenge each other to run everyday, push each other to run longer and faster. What’s that thing about power in numbers…
So, a Run-a-Day everyday until the end of Spring. That’s 19 June (thanks Google for telling me when the astronomical spring in the Northern Hemisphere ends) – imagine pre-internet I would have had to go to the library to borrow a book to find that out – womb womp. I digress.
We’re running! *Run-a-Day*
Starts: Sunday 30 April 2016
Ends: Sunday 19 June 2016 (just so happens to be Father’s Day in the UK)
How to join:
1. Download the Nike Running app from Appstore or Google play
2. Search for the challenge name “TBD”
3. Connect with me on Social Media to let me know you’re joining. Instagram: @salome.amakhi, Snapchat: @salome.amakhi
4. Share this article with your friends and running buddies and invite them to the Nike challenge.
Guidelines: It’s simple. Run-a-Day.
No set time, pace or distance – just get out and run. However, you should aim for a minimum distance of 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) a day. Of course you can (and I’d encourage you to) run longer.
Be safe: don’t run if you are injured.