Running Lessons

Last week marked the unofficial start to the cross country season for the team I once helped coach. I have to admit I am more than a bit bummed out about missing out on another season. Every sweaty season offered an incredible roller coaster ride of laughs, tears, celebrations, challenges, and life lessons.

As I reminisced about all of the ups and downs of my 4 seasons as a coach, I started thinking about all the lessons these runners were going to experience. The list seemed endless, so I decided to write them out and see just how many I could come up with. In just over an hour, I was staring down at a list of over 170 lessons.

I won’t list them all right now, but I’ll share some of the bigger ones:

  1. Don’t look back.
  2. Your level of commitment determines your future opportunities.
  3. You control whether you meet your goals.
  4. You get what you work for, not what you wish for.
  5. Be intentional.
  6. Dress for the weather.
  7. Keep your head up.
  8. You won’t see any progress if you don’t record where you started or where you’re going.
  9. Hard work isn’t always about doing more, but being smarter about what you’re doing.
  10. Your thoughts become your reality.
  11. The amount of pain you can endure is determined by your mind, not your body.
  12. Your limiting beliefs are your biggest obstacles.
  13. Waiting for the perfect time is a waste of time.
  14. Do what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it, not just when you feel like it.
  15. Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
  16. Excuses or results: the choice is yours.
  17. Run through the finish line.
  18. Setbacks are only as powerful as you make them.
  19. Choose your running buddies wisely.
  20. Nothing goes as planned. Keep calm, adapt, focus on your goals, and keep going.
  21. You choose whether your PRs haunt you or inspire you.
  22. Run for your own reasons.
  23. Don’t miss out on the journey by focusing only on the destination.
  24. Hard work trumps talent.
  25. Pace yourself.
  26. Comparison crushes confidence.
  27. You’re stronger than you know.
  28. Breathe.
  29. Watch for opportunities.
  30. Believe in yourself.

It’s pretty amazing to think about all that running has to offer, both mentally and physically. I really hope this year’s runners will take full advantage of their season while they can.