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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Baylor chapter.

For some people, running is a dreading activity that they would never imagine liking, and that was me too. I used to run to lose weight and correlated it with exercising, so I never truly thought it was going to be an activity I would ever love. However, after meeting one of my biggest inspirations, one of my best friends Andrea, I soon realized the value running has, aside from its physical efforts and benefits. Here are a few of the cherished lessons I’ve learned from my short time being a long-distance runner. 

  1. Commitment beats motivation

The first lesson I’ve learned from running is that motivation is not enough to achieve a goal. Motivation can for sure spark a sense of willingness to do something; however, motivation runs out. For example, you’re probably not going to be motivated to go for a run if you have to wake up at 7 am and you ended up falling asleep late. Therefore, commitment beats motivation. If you commit to something, that means that you are doing a promise to yourself to fulfill something or to reach a goal. Your commitment, in turn, will be your true motivator. 

2. You vs You

I’ve always struggled with caring about what people thought about me. For this reason, I’m often afraid of starting new activities, considering I’m afraid of failing and everyone knowing. Surely, running specifically is an activity that takes time and effort to make improvements; therefore, I was constantly doubting—and to be honest, still am—if I was capable of running long distances and often compared myself to other people that seemed to run so easily. However, after my running journey and daily training, I realized that running is a battle with myself. It is an activity that is completely mine and in my control, and the effort I put into it will be showcased soon enough. Comparing yourself to other people won’t make you run faster or run longer, so focusing on yourself and how you can improve will for sure do the trick. Therefore, nurturing and having a you vs you mindset is deeply valuable, considering you are constantly seeking ways to improve not only as a runner, but as a person as well.

3. Running as a Fulfilling Activity

Running is something no one can ever take away from me. I say this because oftentimes I’ve struggled with self-esteem issues and often wonder if I am not enough. If someone leaves my side, I often have identity issues and wonder what makes me me without that specific person. And that is one of the reasons running is so important to me: it is something that is 100% mine.

4. Life is a rollercoaster

Running has taught me that life is a rollercoaster. I often times go through what I like to call a “running rut.” Basically, there are some weeks I am able to run long distances, while other weeks my body cannot handle those distances, and I often feel bad about it. However, after resting for a while and being consistent, I go back to having amazing runs. Essentially, this is a metaphor for life: it won’t always be good, but with hard work and genuine intentions, you’ll balance off to where you were before and will even improve along the way

5. The Power is Within You

My sister once said to me “do marathoners know they aren’t supposed to run them?” It is easy to stay in bed and not go for a run. It is easy to stay at home watching tv-shows. It is easy to go out every night and get some drinks. It isn’t easy to wake up daily at 6 am to go for a run. That is the thrill of it. People don’t like hard things, but those things are the ones that will make you grow as a person. It is as easy as putting on a pair of shoes and heading out the door. And it doesn’t have to be running, it can literally be anything. Just remember the power is within you to do anything.

Overall, running has made me a better human being. The body-mind connection that occurs each day I put on my running shoes always amazes me. We often doubt our capabilities as human beings, but once we actually put them to the test, outstanding results and realizations follow.

Hey there! I am Anabella and I am a psychology major with minors in apparel merchandising and entrepreneurship at Baylor University. I am really passionate about sports, fashion, the human mind, and my Spotify playlist. I really love to create meaningful connections with people and live by kindness!