It’s been several years since I made the decision to bid farewell to my excess body fat. My journey towards a more active lifestyle began during those days. Prior to that, the thought of being physically active didn’t interest me much. Simply walking to the subway or bus station and occasionally taking a taxi sufficed. Fast forward more than a decade from those times, and here I am, at the age of 32, running. It leaves me bewildered, as if I’m a completely different person. Undoubtedly, I’ve undergone quite a transformation.
About four months ago, I made the choice to delve into the world of exercise at home, replacing the idea of running. This was a sport I had been neglecting for various reasons. Sometimes it was due to running late, other times it was fatigue, or perhaps a social gathering, and the list goes on. To ensure that my running endeavor didn’t remain just an idea, I committed to waking up early and engaging in morning workouts before heading to work, typically between 5 and 6 in the morning.
From the moment I resolved to make this change, I invested in proper exercise attire and shoes, read Haruki Murakami’s book titled “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,” watched instructional running videos on YouTube, viewed Mehrad Hayden’s documentary on running marathons, set my alarm for 5:30 am, and went to bed with the anticipation of a morning workout. It took me a full 10 days to finally experience my first exercise session.
Over those 10 days, I engaged in an internal battle with myself. Each day presented its own set of mental obstacles, and I often found myself falling short of overcoming them. However, on that tenth day, I woke up determined. I confronted each of those obstacles, sought out justifications and answers, and ultimately found myself engaged in my first exercise routine.
I had initially planned to incorporate daily running into my routine, but over the past few months, I couldn’t manage to maintain a consistent streak. One of the primary reasons for this inconsistency was the lofty expectations I had set for myself. Initially, I mostly ran on weekends. After a while, I adjusted my approach to running every other day, and now I’ve successfully transitioned to running every day for several consecutive days.
For me, running offers more than just health benefits; it provides a valuable opportunity for inner solitude. Picture this: a solitary individual on a walking or running path, headphones in, and that’s all. It’s a wonderful chance to be alone with oneself. In the words of Julia Cameron from her book “The Artist’s Way,” it’s a moment to meet the artist within. Running opens the door to self-reflection, introspection, foresight, empathy, resilience, and pure enjoyment.
Today marked my third consecutive day of running, and my legs were feeling the strain. Until now, it felt like I was running just for fun, but daily running presents a different challenge. It’s as if I’ve entered a whole new league. Nevertheless, my inner determination compensates for this physical fatigue, acting like a turbo system for cars with less engine power.
The experience of these past few months of running has been a valuable learning opportunity. It has allowed me to align my body and mind to find inner satisfaction.
I believe the most challenging part of this journey, particularly the toughest step in starting the transformation, in this case, beginning a running routine, is convincing our mind of why we run. Why should I run? Why should I push myself every morning to get out and run? What needs to change, and what if I run?
When we have logical and persuasive answers to these questions in our minds, we can visualize ourselves running, envision the benefits, and ignite our passion. We can draw from our reservoir of willpower and take action. This formula doesn’t apply solely to running but can be used for any endeavor and any kind of change.