“Never say ‘no’ to adventures. Always say ‘yes,’ otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life.”
— Ian Fleming (of James Bond fame)
If I were to give my new-runner self advice, it would be to never say never.
I was never going to be a runner and I most definitely was never going to run a half marathon. Then it was never a full marathon. Oh, and ultras? Those are for crazy people.
This week’s Tuesdays on the Run link-up hosted by runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice asks what advice you would give to your new-runner self. When you’re done here, go visit them to see what other advice other runners are sharing.
Why wouldn’t I have said yes to new adventures? It’s not like saying no has ever quite worked out for me. In fact, I’ve had my most-rewarding experiences when I’ve said yes.
I didn’t want to date my now-husband, nor have children (did I mention we have three?). I didn’t even want to get our beloved dog, Khaleesi the Leonberger.
In my very advanced age, I’ve learned to be more open to new experiences. To push myself outside of my comfort zone. To say yes more often.
In doing so, I’ve:
- Met some of the nicest people. Runners make awesome friends and I’ve been blessed with a bunch, all of whom are keepers.
- Become stronger both mentally and physically than I ever have. I was a jock growing up and did martial arts for about five years. I still feel stronger — and am more determined — as a runner.
- Exercised my creative muscle. Exhibit A: this blog. While I’ve always enjoyed writing, I don’t get to do a lot of it at work anymore, so writing for you, creating graphics and figuring out new social media tools has been incredibly gratifying.
- Set “stretch goals.” I love to learn new things, but working full time and parenting two teens and a 9-year-old doesn’t leave much time for things like grad school. Setting goals like running marathons and ultras means I spend time researching gear, fuel and training plans, allowing me to pick up a few skills on a regular basis.
- Learned to
enjoytolerate winter. Spending so much time outside running has meant a new grudging appreciation of the beauty of fall and winter, from the crunch of running through snow to watching how the seasons impact everything from the grass to the sounds of the birds on a quiet Sunday morning trail run.
If I were to send a message back in time to speak to myself when I started this running journey, I would encourage me to say yes more often. The rewards are endless.
What advice would you give your newbie-runner self if you could? Is there anything you would have done differently? The same?