My Journey to Bring Enjoyment to My Running

My Journey to Bring Enjoyment to My Running

by Paul W.

I recently read Running Within by Jerry Lynch and have now developed my “running statement.”  I have done this to build a more positive AND ENJOYABLE attitude toward running.

Approach Thought:

I have always considered myself a slow runner, but this just addresses competing against someone else.  This is an attitude I need to change.  I need to think about running within myself  . . .  for myself.  It does not matter where I finish with respect to anyone else, it only matters where my personal mindset is  . . .  where my personal effort is  . . .  and how I think about that personal effort.

Primary Objective:

I want to find enjoyment in my running, and not racing against some external goal, a certain time, another runner.  I enjoy walking, hiking, being outdoors.  I enjoy getting my body into better physical condition.  I do see how running can bring these aspects to my life, and I need to approach running as providing me a wonderful means to experience these aspects.

Positive Affirmations and Thoughts to Build Into My Mindset:

  • Running is the journey I enjoy.
  • Control what I can control.  Change “I can’t” to “I can.” “I can” is more mental than time specific.
  • Reality does not change, what changes is how I view the fact.  A fact is a fact – how I look at it and how my mind perceives it are what make the difference.
  • My running will build my leg strength and my conditioning.
  • It takes time and practice to become an accomplished runner.  Enjoy the practice each day and each run.  Each run is a journey, and each journey is to be enjoyed in and of itself.  I want to run for the enjoyment of running, not for the goal of winning, or the goal of hitting some specific time.  As I grow in this journey, I most likely will consider my times, but this always will need to take a back seat to the enjoyment of the run itself.
  • Running affords the opportunity to bring the body  . . .  the mind  . . .  and the spirit all together.
  • Running provides that fresh air, an outside opportunity that conditions my moving body.
  • Running is my guide to a healthier, happier life.

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  • James Riga

    Thanks Paul for reminding me why we do what we do. Sometimes I forget that its not necessarily about the competition but our personal accomplishment.

  • Tori Ratcliff

    Thanks for the inspiring words, Paul. I’m a junior at the University of Oregon, and am racing in my first triathlon with the UO Tri team this spring! At times I am almost fearful of the thought of a triathlon (how many hours it will take, do I have the mental drive?), but reading your approach thought really put it all in perspective, that I am racing for no one but myself. I’m not doing this to impress anyone, I may even come into last place, and that ok. The point is that I’m DOING IT and am accomplishing a big personal goal.

  • Paul Wangerin

    I wrote this “Running Statement” completely as a personal statement for myself. Joe suggested posting it, and I agreed to that. I am blown away by and appreciate the responses as this just loops together the motivated tri-athletes who work hard (struggle?) to achieve their personal goals and accomplishments. We ARE in this together, even though we work for our own accomplishments. Paul Wangerin

  • Sarah Farsalas

    Dad, I’m inspired every time I read your article!!! Thanks for sharing this with us all!!!
    And Tori, enjoy your UO Tri Team training (and bonding)…How exciting to get to do that in college!

  • Thank you for taking the time to put your words of wisdom down on paper, Paul! They are so inspiring, and I know this is an issue that so many athletes struggle with!! Hats off to you for figuring out how to embrace your own RUN LOVE!! 🙂