Over two years ago I would have gawked at the idea of going for even a short walk outside, let alone an exhausting run. Obese, tired and suffering from poor health; I was at the wheel but I wasn’t driving the car. My mind was my nemesis during some of the toughest points in my life and it really had its hold over me. But after many years of practicing grounding therapies such as meditation, aikido and yoga, I finally gained enough mental clarity to take control of my body. I realized that my addictions, depression and fatigue were a product of self-manufactured barriers.
The ego provides us with excuses as to why we should not change; even if our higher self knows it would be good thing. We have to become ninjas at fending excuses off as they approach. For instance, “I can’t find time” is one of the most common excuses. But instead of agreeing, we can ponder the excuse for just a short moment…and realize that by getting more rest at night and rising earlier, we can stop making excuses and easily find this time. See how easy that was? Diffused. But that’s only one excuse! When you awake for your morning run, be prepared for a song and dance with your brain.
#1. It’s too cold/hot outside! Dress appropriately. Always check the temperature before setting off on your journey and dress for the occasion. If you’re unsure, try out this nifty What to Wear Calculator.
#2. I’m too sore! Hmmm…is it just because you slept in crazy positions all night? Your body wants to stretch, move and expand; it keeps everything in tip top shape. Always make sure your post-workout recovery and rest is strong enough before getting back out there
#3. The road/ground is wet! Wear an extra pair of socks and watch where you’re running. Avoid slippery situations; wet leaves, puddles, mud, etc.
#4. It’s too windy out! It’s only wind, wear an extra layer if needed. Avoid exposure, especially if it is cold and windy. Use the direction of the wind to your advantage whenever possible. Breathe deeply and oxygenate your lungs. Invigorating!
#5. I don’t have time! Here we go again; didn’t we figure this one out earlier? Plan for the time you’ll need the night before. Get enough sleep so you are able to rise earlier than usual.
#6. Oh boy…those steep hills! I don’t think I’ll make it. Hills make us stronger and build our endurance. And nobody said you couldn’t ever take walk breaks on your run. In fact, according to ex-Olympian and running coach, Jeff Galloway, you can not only improve your time using the run-walk-run method but it will keep you more in control of your running.
#7. What about food, won’t I run out of energy? Nutrition is an integral component to any exercise plan. You should provide yourself with clean fuel to prepare, sustain and recover. This will ensure you are well hydrated, have the energy to burn and the nutrients to repair strained muscles.
#8. Don’t go! Just go back to sleep, you can make it up tomorrow! You are not your brain. The ego does not want you to change; it wants you to stay in that zone of comfort. The most clever of obstacles in life is the mind itself. Each day it lays more bricks upon a wall built from our stresses, anxieties and fears. It is this very wall which causes us to recoil from opportunity and closes us off from the openness of the world around us. If you can learn how to quiet your mind; you will begin to see the blank space as a window of opportunity.
Now throw off those blankets, get out there and run!