Running is one of the most accessible sports on the planet. People don’t need a running track or athletic prowess to run. You just need a pair of running shoes and the will and desire to explore your environment.
Running, as we know it today, was born in England in 1778 when jogging after fox hunting became popular. Running was using as an athletic pursuit for many years until the beginning of the 20th century when research began to show benefits for heart health, weight management and mental well-being among other things. In 1921 Harvard invented the Airex – a foam pad that cushions impact during exercise – which helped, along with heavier footfalls from shoes, makes running an attractive option for people not conditioned for running before. Nowadays more and more people are benefiting from this activity.
What does running have to do with self-confidence?
Let’s say you are standing on the side of the road waiting for the light to change and a car passes you going the other way. As you’re waiting you notice the driver looking back and smiling at you. What would you do? Would you smile back? Would you walk on and hope the driver would see you, or would you stay put and not let your insecurities stop you?
Running gives you a new perspective. When you’re running you are forced to think about what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and what you’re doing it for. When you stop to think about running you will find that it’s very much like your self-confidence. It will encourage you to be yourself and it will encourage you to do what you do best.
If you have self-confidence, you’ll take risks. You’ll step out of your comfort zone. You’ll do things that make you feel awkward and insecure. But you’ll also have the courage to take the next step and to put yourself out there.
The problem with running is that you don’t know if you’ll make it. It’s like when you’re waiting at a traffic light and the light turns red and the car passes you going the other way. It’s tough, but you know you’re doing something right if the car passes you smiling and nodding. You know you’ll never know if the driver will see you if you don’t step out of your comfort zone and do something.
Inspiration: Finding your motivation
So why do you run?
Some people run to get in shape, to get fitter, to burn calories or to lose weight. Some people run to raise money for a good cause, others to raise money for a charity or to raise awareness for an issue they care about. Some people run to win races, some to get fit for a marathon or a half-marathon, others to run a race with a friend or a family member.
Whatever your reason, you have to find it within yourself. It’s something that you have to discover, it’s not something that you can learn. If you want to be the best you can be, then you need to be true to yourself.
The Secret to Running: the “runner’s high”
So you’ve found your motivation. Now what?
Well, your mind is probably telling you to run, your body is telling you to stop, your lungs are telling you to breathe and your feet are telling you to keep going. Your body has been doing this for thousands of years. It knows what it’s doing. It’s trying to tell you that running is the right thing for you to do.
But if you want to feel like a runner, you need to let your body do the talking.
Your body will tell you to slow down if you’re pushing yourself too hard. It will tell you to rest if you’re doing too much.