It’s 5 a.m. and the gentle sounds of birds chirping lulls me out of sleep. It takes a few moments for me to remember that this was my attempt to make waking up hours before the sun rises more pleasant. It’s my alarm clock.
My black workout capris, pink tank top and sports bra are folded neatly and sitting on the bathroom counter. My athletic socks and Brooks running shoes are sitting by the couch. My water bottle is filled and waiting for me by the front door.
“Just put your feet on the floor,” I tell myself. If I can peel myself out of my warm and comfortable bed and place my feet on the floor, I can get out the door.
Then the excuses come flooding through my half-awake mind. “I’ll go running later.” “I worked out really hard yesterday. I deserve a rest day.” “I’ll just sleep for 15 more minutes.”
And then, I’m asleep.
I haven’t gone running in months, but I continue to have this battle with myself in the early morning hours a few days each week.
Why haven’t I laced up my running shoes in so long? I overcommitted myself in the spring – while teaching too many fitness classes and training for two half-marathons, I developed plantar fasciitis and I lost my love of running.
A short break to recover turned into a long break. Then the guilt set in. “I should go running,” I kept telling myself. I’ve run nine half-marathons, so I’m a runner and I should run, right?
After months and months of setting out my running gear, hitting the snooze button and feeling guilty for another missed run, I have finally decided to give myself a break.
Running was no longer serving me in a positive way. It felt like a chore. I felt sluggish. My body hurt. It wasn’t fun. I had burned myself out, and I need to give myself a break from running.
I recently began doing more yoga, taking the occassional Pilates class, going on bike rides and going hiking. Doing things I enjoy.
It took me months to realize that there was nothing positive coming from beating myself up for not running.
And I was reminded of the key to finding the motivation to move your body – do something you like. Try everything until you find something you enjoy, and keep doing it.
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