Everyday Inspirations

This is the second time I've started off a new year training for a half marathon. Last year's race experience was one of the most inspirational things I've done. Even simply remembering how accomplished I felt the day of the race is enough to get me out of bed and on the road.

One of the benefits of training this year is the Olympics. Seriously. I dare you to tell me that you don't watch the Olympics and imagine yourself accepting that gold medal and tearing up on the stand as you hear your national anthem being played. Watching the athletes is inspiring. We want to be them.

I was listening to NPR this morning and the announcer was talking about how the athletes we've been watching for the past week and a half are not only physically talented, they dedicate an enormous amount of time perfecting the mental tricks it takes to reach their level of talent. This is something I've thought about quite a bit since becoming a runner because I wasn't prepared for it. It takes an amazing amount of mental preparation to pull off long-term training. It's not enough to simply show up; you have to be mentally ready to take on challenges.

Sometimes I think that it's those mental hurdles that are the hardest to get over when it comes to taking care of ourselves. We can hear again and again how beneficial regular workouts are for looks, health, and overall well-being. But until something clicks in our own minds, we're not going to be able to face the trials that come with exercise. I completely believe the reasons we are scared to overcome mental hurdles is because we know in doing so we have to give up something comfortable in our lives, whether that's sleeping in every morning, giving up no-good diet, or actually causing some physical discomfort as you push your body to do new things.

However, once you get over the fear of being outside your comfort zone, I believe you'll find that you like the challenge. Dare yourself to do one thing you're scared of that will make you healthier. I promise it will be worth it.

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