I made an executive decision this summer. Wanting to ensure the continuation of my commitment, I made the switch to walking in this Alabama heat and humidity. When I started running some 20 years ago, I would never miss a run-day no matter what. I had a postal worker mentality … neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night would prevent me from this devotion. It was needed, the habit, to assure I wouldn’t fall back in to complacency and procrastination. It’s my number one piece of advice for someone who’s contemplating taking up running … form a habit. Decide on your commitment level and never veer from it. Most people starting a program want to start hard and fast but I recommend a simpler version. 10 minutes a day … Anyone can pledge 10 minutes a day. Can you do more? Absolutely! Most of my runs are enjoyed past this self-imposed standard. But if “the commitment” is an hour it’s much more easily broken and justifiably so, leaving you with a catching-up mindset which ultimately weighs you down. And the point of the run is to lift you up. Why not guarantee the satisfaction, the pride, the victory with a commitment you can achieve, one that is habit-forming? Now you are equipped with a positive mindset pattern because of a small change in rationale. You are able to say and feel in your soul “I did what I said I would do”. It’s uplifting. It’s empowering. And the rewards are beneficial to mind, body and soul. I’ve always said, “Running changed my DNA”. The habit unlocked such a sense of belief and possibilities that it spilled over to other areas in my life.
But back to the weather. Every September, there is “that day”. You know, the one where you walk outside and are hit with a frisky, zesty, zippy greeting of cool, crisp air that it puts a bounce in your step and, not to be too dramatic, but also a kind of hope in your heart, signaling it’s time to up the ante and my pace. On the trails you can sense the giddyness and excitement of fellow runners unlocked by a temperature modification of a few degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a small change but as with all small changes, it is significant.
And on behalf of all runners, to Fall I will say … Thank You!
Read more in The Run chapter Soul Speak Vol. III or Soul Speak: The Full Story