I have been running on and off for about five years now. I am not fast. I am certainly not one of those women who looks like running just “works for them”. I can usually be found, with a stitch, on a country road somewhere. Having said all that, I am so proud of my body and what it has achieved in the past few years. I joke that if my old P.E teacher were to read this that she would probably say “Where’s Laura, this person is an impostor”.
So why do I run? If it’s not “natural” to me and I am not “good” at it then why do I persist?? Well, the answer is simple. My body wants to move. If it doesn’t move two things happen:
- I get depressed
- I get tired
I can tell when I need to run. I am drawn to the sofa more, I feel like I am weighted down (emotionally and physically), I can’t be bothered with anything. In fact it’s difficult to differentiate between the tiredness and the depression.
Then I run. Some days I run and it’s hard, in fact I have weeks of it being hard but then, like magic I have a good run. I run further and faster for no reason at all and I get home to a lifted spirit. The tiredness I feel after the run is genuine, it’s not a brain fog or despondence it’s actual tiredness. I sleep better and I wake feeling brighter. Yep, all that after one good run.
One of the best excuses for not doing exercise or moving our bodies is that we don’t have enough time so let me tell you a little story…
Last week I didn’t run at all. Work was busy and stressful and I was revising all week for my driving theory test (which I passed! Yay me!). Work and revision took priority. In fact whatever you spend time doing IS your priority. Right now, writing this is my priority (as is drinking a glass of wine and listening to my son torment my husband in the kitchen). When someone asks you what your priorities are it is ingrained in us to simply lie. “My family is my priority”…yet you are working 24/7 and haven’t called your mum for weeks. “Getting fit this year is a priority”…yet most weekends are spent binge watching TV series and telling yourself you’re tired. Some weekends this is my priority too. The thing is that priorities change, they can change in a moment. For me I have to realise and accept when running needs to be my priority.
So, as a non-runner who runs here are my three foolproof ways to get your butt out the door even when you don’t want too:
- Nominate someone close to give you a kick up the arse. When you’re feeling motivated remind them to nag you the next day to go out. I would really struggle without my husband doing this on the hardest days.
- Don’t put yourself under pressure. When I am really struggling I tell myself I will go out for 10 minutes and then come home to slob. This has never worked, I have always gone out for longer but one day I will just go out for 10 minutes…because I bloody well can!
- Don’t worry about what you should be doing. Sometimes I sacrifice the washing up, the cleaning, the hoovering etc. Sometimes, I just go out.
We are all busy people, we all have battles to face when it comes to exercise. You will never always be motivated, in those moments when motivation goes you need determination, the kick up the arse , and you need to look at what your priority is, is it really the TV show or is it getting out and moving around?