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Life Lessons I Learned from Running

The beginning of a new training plan always brings ambitious goals and optimistic thoughts about running. There is nothing like the feeling of a fresh new slate, knowing that training can be anything you make of it. As I eagerly crank out my first few weeks of this training plan, the new miles bring upon me an excitement that reminds me exactly why I love running.

Life Lessons I Learned From Running

My relationship with running definitely has it’s ups and downs, but ultimately we are always in a good place. Even when I find myself sidelined or taking a break, I always know that I will be back at it again. Running has taught me so many life lessons, all of which I rediscover with each new season of training. It’s amazing how we defeat many challenges in each season of running, only to wind up facing the same ones again in a few months.

Running has absolutely increased the quality of my life. I can thank running for a great deal of my happiness, and know that it is responsible for much of the personal growth I have experienced. It’s easy to get tricked into thinking of running as a method of exercise and nothing more; when in reality it plays a huge role in our lives even outside of the sport. I’ve learned some of the most important life lessons through running, and wanted to share them today.

Life Lessons I Learned from Running

There is always room for improvement.

No matter how successful you have become, there will always be room for improvement. Those moments of cockiness are always the moments that wind up uncovering your flaws. Enjoy the victories while you have them, and use the energy to propel you to continually improve.

Never settle.

Don’t assume that this is the best you can achieve – continue to push yourself to achieve more. Something great is always lurking around the corner when progress seems slow. Continue to challenge yourself and know that through hard work you can achieve the unimaginable.

Nothing worth having comes easy.

We don’t truly appreciate the things that come easy to us. More often than not, when we set our sights on something really great, getting there is going to bring some challenges. Those challenges are what help us learn and develop our skills. Strength is developed through adversity.

Comfort is the enemy of progress.

If you are comfortable – whether it’s in life, with your job or running – you probably aren’t progressing very much. If you want to get faster, you can’t be afraid of a little pain during your interval workouts. If you want to get promoted, you have to be willing to do things that might scare you. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to discover what you’re really made of.

Prioritize – you can’t do it all.

Attempting to do everything will only lead to disappointment. Pick a few things of which you’re really passionate about and focus your energy on them. Prioritizing helps you conserve your energy for the things that are most important, while avoiding wasting energy on useless things.

Nothing good comes from comparing yourself to others.

Everyone is different – if we were all the same, life would be incredible boring. Comparing yourself to someone else puts you in an unfair situation. You have not lived the same lives, so just because you haven’t accomplished something that they did doesn’t mean you are any less spectacular. Comparison only leads us to negativity. Celebrate your own accomplishments no matter how big or small they may seem around others.

Don’t be afraid to try new things.

You never know what exciting opportunity might be out there waiting for you unless you try. You never know how fast you could become or how far you could run unless you give it a shot. If you fail, at least you know. And if you succeed, a whole new world has been opened for you.

Don’t forget to be grateful.

Gratitude is one of our greatest tools. Whether you’re just beginning or have already accomplished your wildest dreams, don’t forget to be grateful. Everyone has something that’s worth celebrating. Celebrate the major accomplishments, and don’t forget to appreciate the little things along the way.

Related: What the Marathon Distance Has Taught Me

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