I have someone super special for you today Rachelle is one of the most supportive, generous, kind, caring, service-oriented, talented humans on the planet. The world needs a lot more Rachelles. PS I did pay her to say the below nice things about me.
Hi Hungry Runner readers! My name is Rachelle and you may recognize me from a few appearances on Janae’s blog. I wish you could each meet Janae in real life because she really is just as amazing as she seems. Janae is genuinely the kindest, funniest, and most humble person on the planet. I adore her and wish you could all fly to Utah and run with us. I am absolutely honored to be a guest blogger today.
I started running in 2010 and shortly after met and began running with Janae. As a runner I experienced a very quick rise to local elite status. I am not a professional runner, but I have ran a couple sub-3 hour marathons, a 1:17 half, and a 38 minute 10k. I’ve experienced many highs and lows in running and am constantly working to find a good running/life balance.
Racing and competing are on the back burner for me right now while I take some time off to heal a few lingering injuries and regain my health. In the meantime I’ve switched my running focus to coaching, pacing and helping other runners. I love running and I also love people so coaching and pacing fit me perfectly! Today I am going to talk about 7 life lessons running has taught me. I hope you will stick around and can gain some perspective from my experience as an elite runner and running coach. At the end of the day, and most importantly, I am just a normal person searching for balance in running and life just like you:)
1. You must believe in yourself to accomplish your goal. In order to accomplish a goal you must first love yourself enough to believe you are capable. Once you believe in yourself it seems to eliminate pressure. Without believing in yourself it is easy to sabotage yourself. Remember that you are worth it and if you don’t feel good about you it is hard to feel good about anything else.
2. Comparison is the thief of joy. In running it is easy to compare yourself to someone else’s best qualities because those are often the qualities we see. Through experience and being more mindful I’ve learned to appreciate and celebrate everyone’s best qualities as well as my own. Everyone has weaknesses and everyone has strengths.
3. We’re all in this together. The real war and the biggest competitor is often your own voice. I’ve raced against and competed with my best friends regularly and we genuinely want each other to succeed. Often the biggest obstacle we will face in life and running are our own inner demons. If we can focus on the positive and support each other we will ultimately better ourselves and set a good example for those around us.
4. Running a certain time/distance/pace will not change you or make you happy. Goals are important and healthy but they do not change who you are as a person. When I first started running I was so focused on my training plan and my goal that I completely ignored my inner instincts. I missed out on fun family events, dating, and life because I was so wrapped up in my training. From experience I’ve learned that it is okay to miss a workout, or even a race, because at the end of the day, it is just running. We are all more than runners and have more to offer the world than just our running.
5. Your body is capable of more than you ever imagined. I don’t believe anyone was necessarily born to run. Rather I think anyone is capable of becoming a runner if they have the desire and are willing to work. In high school I struggled to complete a 13 minute mile to pass my 9th grade PE class and now I can run two miles in that time. The difference is not that my physical limitations have changed. It is my desire and willingness to reach outside my comfort zone.
6. Live limitless and don’t give up on yourself. My first marathon in 2011 was 3:54 and 9 months later in 2012 I ran 2:58. Most often we surrender to our own fears and pre-conceived limitations. If we eliminate self-imposed limits we are truly capable of anything we put our minds to and are capable of becoming our best selves.
7. Failure is not final. When I first started racing if I did not achieve my goal I was embarrassed, ashamed and incredibly hard on myself. Now I’ve learned that failure is critical to success and without the awful times the great times are not as amazing. It is the failure that shapes us and helps us to grow.
The theme you may have noticed to everything running has taught me is that regardless of my accomplishments, self-love and self-worth are vital to happiness and joy in all things. Running a PR, winning money from racing, or reaching that finish line first do not make me happy or change me. The friendships I’ve developed through running and the deep and profound appreciation I’ve gained for my body will always be my greatest and most important takeaways.
Running has taught me to be kinder to myself, to honor my body, and to practice balance in all things.
What life lessons have you learned form running?
What other aspects of your life make you who you are besides running?