For those of you who have watched “What Women Want” you may recall the part of the movie with the Nike commercial:
You don’t stand in front of a mirror before a run… and wonder what the road will think of your outfit.
You don’t have to listen to its jokes and pretend they’re funny.
It would not be easier to run if you dressed sexier.
The road doesn’t notice if you’re not wearing lipstick.
It does not care how old you are.
You do not feel uncomfortable… because you make more money than the road.
And you can call on the road whenever you feel like it, whether it’s been a day… or a couple of hours since your last date.
The only thing the road cares about… is that you pay it a visit once in a while.
Nike. No games. Just sports.
I was talking to someone the other day about a goal to get back into running. As she was describing how it felt when she was running on a regular basis I immediately thought of this commercial.
She was describing the freeing feeling of being out on the road, the energy that running gave her and the strength and feeling of accomplishment after every run. As she was describing how important running used to be in her life I could feel it. It was if I was there with her as she would lace up her shoes, walk outside and hit the streets.
It was time for her, time with her and something she was doing just for her.
The road didn’t care if she was slower one day, or if she had missed a few dates recently. All it cared about was that she was there now.
It brought me back to when I was training for the Chicago Marathon back in 2014. Almost daily I would be out on the streets around my home. On the shorter runs my path led me around our lake or a smaller neighboring lake.
The longer runs took me down country roads where I had only driven before. I would always run first thing in the morning. That is always my time and during training this was no different.
I would get excited when I would make a new playlist to listen to songs that inspired me, got my blood pumping and gave me something to look forward to out on the road.
No matter how easy or hard the run was on any particular day I would remember coming home, if I had time before work I would sit outside on our deck, put my feet up and enjoy the pain, the sweat and the feeling of achievement.
I think that is why I have always and know I will always love running or other forms of working out. It doesn’t matter what I look like, the road isn’t judging me or comparing me to other runners. The only thing that matters is that I am doing something for me.
There are so many things that we do each day for those around us. It can be hard not to lose yourself.
As I was talking to this person about her love for running and how much she missed it we quickly both realized that running was something that she was doing for herself. Now that she wasn’t doing it anymore it left a void.
Despite all of the other ways she was caring for herself something was still missing.
Something only the pride and endorphins that running gave her.
I can relate to how she was feeling and the emotions that she had since she was no longer a ‘runner’.
I think everyone can relate to this in some way. Whether it is running, another form of exercise or a hobby that ‘you used to do’ or ‘you used to be good at’.
As she talked about it she talked about how good it would feel to get back into running although she wasn’t sure her body could handle it. I get that. I am a 1 and done marathon runner. It felt truly amazing, something words can’t explain, to cross that finish line. And I know that I most likely will never do this again. I can still be a runner though.
I just have to reframe what being a runner looks like.
It may be the occasional run with my dog, a jog around the lake or hitting the treadmill in the winter. I get to define what being a runner looks like for me.
You get to do the same.
So my friend I was talking about earlier is doing just that. She is reframing what being a runner looks like. Knowing that any time with the road is a good time. Any type of run is something that will bring that euphoria she once had.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Getting back into something you love, something that defined you is the same. It takes time.
So she built a plan. A plan to take it one step at a time. Literally and figuratively.
What is something that you want to get back into? Something you feel is missing in your life. Something you used to love if only you had the time.
When we truly reflect on the 24 hours a day that we each have-we can realize that the time is there. We may need to give up 15 minutes of sleep, put the phone down, stop mindlessly surfing the internet or realizing we don’t need a fancy gym membership to achieve our goals.
Just lace up your shoes. The road misses you.