Over the past few days, a bunch of running-related articles have appeared in my Facebook newsfeed that address the utter greatness and glamour of running. None of them address the yuck factor of running or the fact that we all experience self-doubt, boredom, or lack of motivation at times. This isn’t meant to be a “downer” blog post, but I think it’s important that we don’t ignore the so-called “dark side” of running.
One of the reasons I thought this subject appropriate is because I’ve experienced the self-doubt and lack of motivation recently. As many of you know, I started distance running with Team in Training to honor my cousin David, a leukemia patient. Since his death, he remains my motivation, but I find it hard to motivate others to care about my cause.
As a writer, I know it’s essential to make a connection with your reader and accept that you will not always reconnect with the same ones. Relating that to running and fundraising, it’s essential that I make a connection with potential donators, as well as reconnect with previous ones. If I were to turn how I feel into a visualization, I’d compare it to a static electricity globe. When the globe is turned on, it radiates little lightening bolts from its electric core. Though faint, the bolts connect to the surface of the globe. If you put your finger or your hand on the globe, the bolts grow thicker and brighter; the connection is stronger. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish: turn my loose connections into stronger ones.
Another challenge is the self-doubt. Can I run another marathon with a tiny tear in my hip? Can I even run the half-marathon I’m registered for next Saturday? With the care I receive from my chiropractor and the strength training I’ve now made a part of my life, the simple answer should be “yes,” but the doubt remains. But then, for example, I’ll have a killer hill run or reach a new PR, and the doubt disappears, sort of like it did yesterday. A 7-mile undulating hill run into the wind yielded a new 10K PR for me.
I guess talking about these challenges helps, and also accepting that it’s not always rainbows and sunshine. It’s okay to have a “bad” run, and it’s okay to admit that you’re lacking motivation or confidence. And as cliche as it is, you’ve got to believe in yourself and in your mission. If it matters to you, that’s enough.