SOMETIMES PERSONAL SUCCESS STORIES such as this one of Karla Villareal by The NIKE RUN+ Club (NRC) seem unreal. The gains made by the featured individuals are amazing. That’s the likely reason particular runners are chosen to inspire the rest of us. What provides as much inspiration for ME is the probability that there are many, many more persons who have made modest gains in health and fitness by starting to run. Perhaps they haven’t lost as much weight. Or they have not achieved a personal best each time they have run. Maybe they have not yet run a long distance race like a marathon or half marathon. I choose to believe that the featured runner is the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of running success stories; surely there are numerous others who have made significant if less spectacular gains in physical as well as mental and emotional fitness through running.
I also believe that the key to success for both feted and unheralded runners is to start the process by identifying and then working toward a goal race. For most this would be a 5K. Others of you might consider this distance race an insufficient incentive. You might choose a BIG race like a marathon or half for it’s “WOW!” factor. “I’m training for the X (fill in the blank) Marathon”, you envision saying or posting. Friends and family will exclaim awe when told of your intent (or maybe something stronger). The disbelief/skepticism in their eyes will be what spurs you to persevere and reach the unthinkable goal of that long distance race.
This young woman’s story makes me feel a bit jealous and embarrassed. I was not aware of such a glamorous running club like the NRC when I lived in a big city (it did not occur to me to look; how ridiculous). Not everyone has this particular opportunity, but there are other ways to become and stay motivated. We can find family or friend running partners or local smaller clubs to join, or enlist the online support offered by organizations, businesses, or apps (like the NRC, Runner’s World, EarnedRuns etc.). If success in our quest depends on it, we can create a club. We can run alone knowing we are part of the world-wide community of RUNNERS (June 1st 2016 was National and GLOBAL RUNNING DAY)*.
Consider starting to write YOUR own story of achievement this summer.
* Using EarnedRuns bibs!!!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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