3 Awesome Tools to Get Over Hurdles of Not Wanting to Run

royalty-free-hurdle-clipart-illustration-1080540It’s good to be back in the USA and South Florida.  Let’s say, this country has been good to me, and as the song from Lee Greenwood says, God Bless the USA!  Since my return a few days ago, I’ve hit the ground running.  So far, I’ve deposited 4 days into my health-bank, and have been mindful of sticking to other good habits of health (sleep, getting adequate sunshine, mediation, embracing what I love doing, etc). 

At this time I’m not as physically fit as I’d like to be, but that’s life.  It’s always about improving things, what do you say?  Today I felt real good as I ran and finished 3.11 mile.  Although I have about 4 marathons and many halfs tucked behind my belt, running a 5K (3.1 miles) can be a bit difficult sometimes. While running one yesterday, I felt rough.  The temperature felt hot as 110 degrees outside.  But I survived.

Running is meditation to me.  It’s all about the focus of being in the moment.  Taking the next breath.  Taking the next step.  These two are intertwined like intimate lovers drinking wine.  I stick in there, and in the end the feeling is one of great accomplishment no matter the miles I run.

Running helps calm my nerve system, relax my mind, and helps me rest better at night.  No one pays me to say this.  It’s my own truth.  Running has also strengthens my ticker (heart) and is my personal medicine for several ills.

A runner might face many roadblocks and obstacles, not just during a marathon event but on regular basis.  Getting out the house could sometimes be distressing.  My most common hurdles are:  feeling the long day’s drag on my legs (most often after work), and my mind playing tricks, making me think I am pooped even in the morning when I awake.  For these, I pause and often get MAD!

MAD! is the tool I use to help me stay focused and get over the hurdles of not wanting to run.  This RunningNurse™ is about making it very simple, so here is a simple acronym to practice if the hurdles line up before your eyeballs and suddenly you feel sedated, obtunded, or crippled when it comes to getting that run in.  The acronym stand for the processes below:

MINDFULNESS (M):  Mindfulness is to be fully conscious in the moment.  Surrender.  Accept the moment as it is.  So when you are feeling like you’d rather Super Glue your buns (bunkie) to the sofa instead of getting up for a run, practice a little mindfulness in this way.  You might find this activity fun.  Look at what you’re doing at the moment.  Smile, and say I am enjoying this. If you just woke up and peeled your eyes open.  Be mindful this is what just happened.  Cuddle with your loved one if he’s or she is beside you. If you’re sleeping single (drag), hug your pillow tight for a moment.  Be fully present.  But when you’re done indulging in what you’re doing it’s time to think about your priorities then be mindful and ask yourself, “haven’t I spent enough time in this bed; or  in front of the TV, Computer, or phone?”  Now when you are practicing mindfulness, you mind will try to play tricks on you.  Focusing on what you now need to do next, and be present there.

AWARENESS (A):  Awareness if being conscious of your thoughts or where you are.  When you are practicing MINDFULNESS, your mind will try to travel to many lands and do several activities at once.  Practicing AWARENESS puts you ahead of the mind’s games.  Be aware where your thoughts of “I am tired and feel crapy,” or “I can’t lift a toe off this bed,” is taking you.  Now, be aware how your body is feeling at the moment you’re conjuring up excuses in your mind.  Next, close your eyes.  Place this awareness starting with your toes.  Let it travel and every inch of your beautiful body to the top of your head.  Feel every sensation of awareness on you (tingling?) as your thought sweep up your body.  Do you feel tired now?  Are you still feeling drowsy?  Do you feel like a truck ran over you last night?  Now say to yourself, “Exercise makes this body feel good,” and be aware how this makes you feel.   Repeat this about five times.  If you’re not feeling energetic and vibrating on high (okay moderate high?) level, then call the morgue because you may be headed straight to the grave!

Now that you know what tricks your beautiful and busy mind wants to play on you, nip these in the bud and get your buns up.  The tool of AWARENESS is powerful!

DISCIPLINE (D):  Discipline is a behavior used when someone has a goal and purpose and wants to stay focused.  Whatever reason you picked up running (keeping a lean body, help avoid obesity, help stomp chronic diseases, because you love the sport), it helps to keep this in mind when you’re faced with insurmountable hurdles.  People practice the art of discipline when they are determined to achieve or stay involved in a certain activity.  So when your mind knows you need to go for a run, consciously watch your thoughts for a minute (Mindfulness).  Dwell in and on the thought.  Now hone in and put some awareness on how the thought of running makes your body feel.  Okay, can you come up with a seriously valid explanation why you shouldn’t get out the door to deposit something in your health-bank?

OYE!  The mind is a terrible thing to waste,” is a slogan used by the United Negro College Fund Council for almost as long as I’ve been alive.  This slogan could be true for everyone. It’s nothing but the mind oftentimes creating many hurdles, stopping us off the tracks from running.  The mind makes a lot of drama, and is the culprit of many traumas.  This exercise helps me many days when I find my bare feet hanging from the bed or stuck to the ground.  What I do?  This RunningNurse™ gets MAD!  I hope these exercises are helpful to you. Go ahead, try it this very minute and let us know how you got over your mental hurdles.