On Wednesday this week, I started outdoor running again. I thoroughly enjoy outdoor running, the breeze, beautiful views, people to say hello to are amongst the many reasons I love it. I however stopped running about six months ago. I put it down to the weather and decided to continue with the exercise classes I attend weekly as well as running on the treadmill whenever I can. That’s however not the same!
Stopping my outdoor run, despite my church’s running club still going is very unlike me. I tend to be quite consistent at anything I choose to do, so that was a bit out of character and I hadn’t even had time to look closely at my reasons for stopping. I just easily put it down to the change of weather. But after going for my first outdoor run in a while I decided to look closely at why I stopped initially. I realised that I could trace it back to the day I had a fall.
While running the last lap on my way home one morning, I fell badly and bruised my knees and twisted my wrist. The fall was very bad and it took me a short while to heal, but what was much more was the fact that I had developed a psychological barrier towards outdoor running and that led to me developing unending excuses why I couldn’t do it in a particular week, which then rolled into weeks and months. As I discussed my limitations with one of my daughters yesterday, she just said, ‘well, what’s the worst that can happen if you don’t finish the run?’ I thought… ‘nothing, I’ll just go back home.’ That little self talk made me choose to take action and break the mental barrier today. I woke up on time, went out for the run, enjoyed all I’ve ever loved about running outdoors, saw a few people I said hello to on the way, a few regular dog walkers, as well as enjoyed the freshness of the outdoors.
As I finished the run, I remembered the scripture that says;
‘I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me’ Phil 4:13
Mental barriers are designed to stop us from achieving our goals and they need to be broken if you ever want to achieve anything of value in life. There is nothing we set our minds to that we cannot do, if only we just start by taking the first step in acting on our plans/goals. There may be physical and genuine barriers on the way, but the wisdom and strength to overcome them will never come until we get going. My run was tough; there was exhaustion but I kept at it and finished the race. As I finished, I checked my time and realised it was a minute better than my previous target timing. I couldn’t even see that when I strayed. I was expecting to have gone over my last timing by at least 5 minute.
Always remember that you can do anything you set your heart to do, so stop focusing on the real or imagined obstacles. Go for your dream, goals or plans. Don’t just dream them, do them because you really can do it; so JUST DO IT!
God is on your side