“There’s no magic to running far or climbing Everest. Endurance is mental strength. It’s all about heart.” -Bear Grylls
Don’t let your own mind be your biggest obstacle. Your mentality is over half the battle when running. Your body can do it. It’s your mind that causes you to falter. Don’t psych yourself out thinking, “Oh, that’s too far. I could never do that.” You can. I use to think I couldn’t even run one mile. Now I’m up to six miles in my training program and I’m loving every stride, because I now know that I can accomplish a lot more than I once gave myself credit for. Believe in yourself and go run.
It’s about that time again for the college students of Arkansas Tech University: finals week. Stress levels run high and energy levels run low. Late nights of caffeine, snacking, and studying are in store for a lot of students here at Tech, myself included. Lucky for me, my sweet mother made me a healthy little goody basket of snacks so I don’t fall off the wagon and eat a lot of junk food to cope with finals. I’m glad that I have found my love of running to help me relieve stress. If stress from finals or any other factor is weighing you down, turn to exercise and boost your feel good endorphins. That “runner’s high” can help get you through a lot.
I would like to begin by stating the obvious given the above picture; my brother is incredibly strange. However, that’s not the only point I wanted to make. As stereotypically expected of females, I love getting new clothes. Nowadays I find myself getting more excited for new running clothes than I do normal day-to-day clothes. I bought a new running outfit with my Academy gift card from Nathan, and it made me excited to run simply because I wanted to be able to wear my new things. The simplest things can provide motivation for me. It’s important to have things to get excited about. It makes the journey that much more fun and enjoyable.
It may seem silly, but I follow a couple of motivational running accounts on Twitter. To my surprise, the words of wisdom I read from them have actually helped me out on several occasions. I’ve caught myself debating whether or not I should go for my run on some of the days I’ve had a lot of homework or felt exhausted from a long week of tests. When I run into short inspirational phrases as I ponder my life, they help push me in the right direction. Check out some motivational running quotes if you find yourself struggling to find your drive.
My family is the biggest supporter of all my goals. I believe that in order to accomplish your fitness goals, you need a support system to help you through it. They provide me with advice and encouragement at times when I need it most, and they come out to cheer me on at races whenever they can. I am extremely thankful for them. I know they play a large role in helping me achieve my running goals. Whether it’s family or friends, it’s important to have someone that can be there for you. Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you. It will help you believe in yourself.
Going 24 hours without technology was definitely an interesting experience. I knew it would be difficult, but I had no idea just how difficult it would be. I’m use to constantly having my phone in my hand or right beside me. Without it, I felt like I was missing an appendage. I found myself subconsciously reaching for it when it wasn’t even there. It’s strange to think how dependent I have become on such a small device. I wasn’t able to check my Twitter or Facebook, and it made me feel a little disconnected from the world. Whenever I have down time before class starts or at lunch or just laying in bed before falling asleep, I usually spend the time on my phone. I found it challenging to not be able to do this. Not being able to watch TV wasn’t too hard on me because I don’t watch it very often as it is. Technology is such a huge part of my day-to-day life that using it is almost as natural as breathing. It felt odd being separated from it.
Although not using technology seemed like an inconvenience and made me feel disconnected, I actually liked some aspects of it. It was definitely beneficial for my studying. Usually when I study, I focus for a few minutes and then spend twice as long checking my various social media sites before I begin studying again. Without being able to do that or flip on the TV for a few minutes, I actually sat down and made myself study without any distractions. Lately, I’ve been running outside and using my iPhone to listen to music. I really enjoy listening to music when I run because it helps keep me motivated and entertained. However, it was kind of nice leaving the phone at home and just focusing on the run itself. It was peaceful and helped me clear my head. I felt a sense of peace my entire day without technology but at the same time, part of me felt slightly stressed about being disconnected and worrying about what I might be missing. I thought I would be really bored on my detox day, but I was surprised to find that it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I was actually really productive that day because I had to find other things to occupy my time. I ended up catching up on studying, laundry, and cleaning.
I realize that it is possible to go through a day without being totally dependent on technological devices, but I don’t plan on making it a habit. In today’s world, technology runs everything. To not keep up with it is to essentially isolate yourself. I enjoyed the technology detox experience because it helped me feel more grateful for all the ways technology benefits me. The detox has opened my eyes to my technological dependency. It has made me really appreciate all the ways technology makes my daily life easier that I never took note of until I had to go without.
Recently, I’ve been experiencing some discomfort in my right ankle during my longer runs. As you can imagine, that’s not good. Before it develops into a full blown injury, I plan on doing exercises to help strengthen it. Nathan went through the same problem with his ankle and gave me some information to help me work with it. He showed me this sports injury article with some symptoms to look for and some suggested therapies for tibialis-posterior tendinitis. He also showed me a lunge warm up video that he uses to help himself prevent injuries. It’s always good to take a proactive approach and try to fix a problem before a serious injury occurs. If you’re not sure what is causing your pain or discomfort, it would be a good idea to visit your doctor to get a diagnosis so you can treat the issue. We’re only given one body. We have to take care of it in order to reach our goals.