STAY GROUNDED, ORGANIZED AND CALM
EMBRACE THE JOURNEY
By Brian Metzler
It’s a crazy time in the world, isn’t it?
The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down and it will be a while before things will be back to normal. And that will probably be a new normal with different realities than we have ever known.
For now, though, how can you cope on a daily basis? Dig deep into the values that running has instilled in you.
As a recreational runner (or triathlete), you’ve already been well-trained in determination, accountability, overcoming adversity and long-term commitment. Those values (and others) have been present in your life in various ways throughout your life, but running requires you to authentically adhere to them on a daily basis without political bias or media influence.
These are tough times, but it allows us to evaluate how we live our lives and move through every day. Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself grounded, organized and calm during this challenging time.
START YOUR DAY WITH PURPOSE
Wake up every day and take charge of your day. Have a plan for how you’ll approach your work, your meals, your exercise and your family and loved ones. Start a new routine by doing sit-ups, push-ups, planks and other core strength exercises the moment you wake up.
Even and especially if you’re working from home, skip the lunch hour and go for a run instead. Spend less time on your devices and take time to engage in conversation with those in your world.
OK, so your workout plan might be out the window because your springtime race has been canceled. Don’t worry about any of that for the time being, but maintain your commitment to daily training. Plan your daily workouts or spurts of exercise in advance, even if they’re not tied to a long-term goal or race. Lace up your running shoes every day and get out the door. Run slow, run fast run short, run long or just walk. Just get out there, soak in the fresh air and relish in your health and fitness for at least 30 minutes per day.
As Desi Linden remind us after she won the Boston Marathon, it’s all about your commitment to “Keep Showing Up” on a daily basis.
DECLUTTER YOUR LIFE
Now is a good time to clean out clutter, get organized and get inspired, especially if you find yourself with extra time on your hands. What kind of clutter are we talking about? It might mean getting rid of non-essential stuff on your desk or computer desktop, cleaning out your car or finally emptying your junk drawer. It might also mean donating old running shoes or running clothes, getting rid of your running socks with holes in them, hanging all of your race finisher medals.
Once you do those things, you’ll have a more focused mind space to start planning the race you’ll do in the fall or next year.
Meditation might sound like a serious, complicated task, but it’s not. While there are many types of levels of meditation, it can really be the process of clearing your mind in a calm space and giving yourself a chance to think, reduce stress, control anxiety and become calm. There are dozens of apps and online resources to guide your introduction to meditation, but you can start today by sitting or laying down in a quiet, calm place with your eyes closed.
Allow yourself only positive thoughts, no matter if you’re thinking about work, family or your running goals.
BE YOUR BEST SELF
Above all things, keep your focus above the fray. It’s easy to fall into the paranoia, blame and unknown being spewed by media, social media and politicians. Instead, accept the accountability of taking care of yourself and others around you. Get proper rest, eat well, stay hydrated, exercise every day and practice social distancing. Be kind and encouraging to others and treat everyone with respect, knowing that we’re all experiencing these difficult times in different ways.
Just as you would in the latter miles of a long run or race, stay positive, trust your training, rely on authenticity and visualize positive outcomes.
EMBRACE THE JOURNEY
Remember, in running and in life, it’s all about the journey and not the destination. Sometimes it’s amazing and sometimes there are rough patches. We’ll get through this difficult and learn from it. We’ll go forward in a new reality, but the only way to get there is to forge ahead with positivity, strong values and a daily commitment to health and perseverance.
Our running shoes can take us to amazing places on a daily basis, but the journey will continue based on how you forge your path every single day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER
Brian Metzler is the author of “Kicksology: The Hype, Science, Culture and Cool of Running Shoes” (2019, VeloPress). He has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”
FOLLOW JACKRABBIT AND OUR RUNNING CREW
Follow JackRabbit and our running lives on Facebook where we share training tips, interviews and gear guides for every runner's lifestyle.
Comment below how many pairs of running shoes you have in your collection? There is no shaming here at JackRabbit!