This morning I woke up and thanked our beautiful Universe for this brand new day. Then, I carried on with my morning routine. I would say my ‘usual morning routine’ but now-a-days I don’t have a specific routine. As long as it involves meditation and reading, that is enough for me to feel grounded, and ready to take on the day.
Last night, as I was wrapping up my Sunday, I started contemplating how I would like to spend my Monday morning. I instantly caught myself and thought ‘Stop. Be here now. Tomorrow morning you can ask your mind and body what it would like you to do.’
I used to have a set routine. You know… get up and go to the gym. Body was still sore? TOO BAD. I HAD to get it done. But not anymore. Now there is no set routine. I have come to realize that my body is the best guide and all I simply need to do is listen and do as it asks. I know many of you are probably thinking ‘my body never asks me to run, or lift weights’ mmm… let’s see. How many times have you tried lifting something and felt weak? How many times have you found yourself EXHAUSTED after 30-60 minutes of walking? There you go, that’s a sign. Aside from paying attention to the signs, you also need to be realistic and aware enough to understand that physical activity and exercise are essential to having a healthy, happy body and leading a healthy life. I am aware that to remain healthy I must make time for the gym, so I do 3-4x a week. But there are no set days or set routine. I am not there to burn calories or to kill my body. I am there to exercise and add another cup of water to my jar of living a balanced, harmonic life. I also partake in Yoga 4-5x a week BUT I don’t limit myself to that! If I’m not feeling it, I will try something new. I will go for a run, a walk, clean the house, find stairs and do some stairs, anything that allows me to move. MOVEMENT. That is all. You do not need to overcomplicate things; you just need to make sure you’re not sitting on your butt all 14-16 hours of the day.
But, back to my story! This morning, to my surprise; I felt like going for a run… so I went for a run. I am NOT a ‘runner’ by any means, I guess I just find myself craving it once in a while and when that happens, I do it. As I was running I started thinking of the many people who constantly say ‘I HATE running. I CAN’T run.’ And hey, I used to be one of those people! But there were a couple things that transformed my way of thinking and taught me to appreciate the art of running.
The fact that I am able to turn this form of physical activity into a meditative practice; where I can focus on the wind hitting my face, the flow of movement in my body and the most important one: when I let go of my thoughts and take the moment in… it really isn’t that bad. I realize that It isn’t my body that’s exhausted; it’s just my mind.
I feel incredible because I did something good for my body, I feel clear because I just spent 10-30mins with myself cleansing my mind, and not to mention the endorphin high.
Your mind is a muscle. It too can become conditioned to your thoughts, perspective, beliefs. What you focus on, becomes your reality. If you think ‘I can’t do this; I hate doing that’ your actions will reflect that. I used to have a bitter feeling towards running because I was focusing on the wrong things. I was attaching the feeling of pain and suffering to it. When I began my fitness journey, running became my form of cardio. It was painful, I hated it, but I knew that it would burn calories and push me closer to my goal so I forced myself to run for 30 minutes (it’s not much but for someone who starts from zero, it feels like a lot!) almost every day. Looking back on it I realize that there were two things I could have changed: my perspective OR what I was doing. I could have focused on the beautiful things I mentioned above. I also should have known that I DIDN’T have to go all in, I DIDN’T have to run for 30 minutes straight without stopping, and I DIDN’T have to limit myself to JUST running. Don’t get me wrong; I am all for pushing yourself – it builds character – but not to the extent where you start to dislike and resent what you are doing.
In life we have three choices: we can either change our perspective, change what we are doing OR both.
If you want to start running but you continue to tell yourself that you hate it and you can’t do it; then you most likely won’t… so start with that.
Then, remind yourself that this isn’t something you have to do – it’s something that you WANT to do because you are aware of it’s benefits. BUT do not forget there are also many other forms of physical activity that will give you the same benefits so you do not have to limit yourself to running!
And lastly, remember that you don’t have to go all in from the start. Start small! Run a little, walk a little, jog a little and repeat.
Nobody starts out an expert; that is the beauty of life! We are continuously given new opportunities to challenge ourselves and evolve. Take it day by day and enjoy every step!