I have recently started following Tiny Buddha, a blog , or website rather, that focuses on “reflecting on simple wisdom and learning new ways to apply it to our complex lives–complete with responsibilities, struggles, dreams, and relationships” (Tiny Buddha, about page). I am obsessed. You should all probably follow it. You will be surprised at how the articles speak to your life.
Today one of their stories was entitled “Have Fun Like Children: 15 Joyful Tips.” This immediately caught my eye. Ever since I started babysitting, I have started to look at things more from a child’s perspective. For instance, how the kitchen table can turn into a hair salon and how when music is playing you don’t just listen to it, you dance with it. The kids I babysit for make it easy to have a good time and wish I was young again. But…
Sometimes it is really hard to look at things from a child’s perspective. We are adults, with busy lives and big problems–right? I thought the post today on Tiny Buddha by Nat Nanton was beautifully written. I wanted to share with you her 15 tips and offer my view from a runner’s perspective. I also just wanted to show them to you because I think reading the piece and embracing it in your every day life can do nothing but better you.
The runner’s perspective. Here are some examples of how to try and take each of Nat’s tips and put them towards your current training and overall running well-being:
1. Be Where You Are: Take training one day at a time and embrace the current run step by step. Don’t worry about the next long-run, or how your tempo run is going to go tomorrow. Just take it all in and be present in your stride.
2. Learn Something New: Taking time after your run to evaluate what was done right and what may have went wrong will help to take an exceptionally good or bad run and improve for the next.
3. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Sign up for races of different distances, take it to the next level with a marathon or a super-fast 1 mile run. Try a mud run or a zombie run. Just do something you have never done before. It will make you stronger mentally and physically.
4. Find The Beat: Come on now. Focus on that stride and breath and attain your goal.
5. Smile 27 Times More Than You Do: For runners this might be 100 more times! It is really hard to smile when you are running, but studies have shown that exercising with a positive attitude helps people achieve more–what better way to get a dose of endorphins then to smile?
6. Notice Nature: This should be a given for runners. Take your earbuds out for 5 minutes a run and just realize how beautiful it is to be out and one with nature. You won’t regret it.
7. Climb Things: I bet you are thinking “how is she going to tell us to climb things as runners?” Easy. Climb up some hills people! Kids love running up hills then rolling back down in potato fashion. But, don’t roll back down–then we have problems. Climb more hills. You will feel really good about it when you’re done!
8. Embrace Your “Flaws”: Runners of all shapes and sizes, speeds, and distances have flaws. Through marathon training I am starting to realize that I CANNOT run in heat. I am awful at it. It makes me slow and tired and complain-y. But, I am also starting to learn that pushing through the heat is only going to make me stronger. If I embrace hot weather running now I will be stronger later.
9. Use Your Imagination: When my sister-in-law was training for her first 10k last Summer she would always ask me how I don’t get bored when I am running. Simple. I use my imagination A LOT. When you are running your mind is free to wander. Why not have it go someplace fun and exciting.
10. Be Unpredictable: This only goes so far with running. But pushing yourself a little harder than you thought you could, or running a new route on a random day are always easy and fun ways to be unpredictable with your running.
11. Hand Out High-Fives: Next time you are racing, be that guy. Everyone loves a high-fiver. It will give you a surge of energy too because you know you are making people happy!
12. Slow Down: Take one to three runs a week (definitely including your long-run) and just do it for pleasure. Quit over-training your mind and body by focusing on fast, intense runs. Sometimes the best thing for your body is to take a nice slow run around your favorite route.
13. Create: Make a shirt or a hat that says something about you on it for the next race. Make a makeshift costume that will cause you to standout among the other runners. Create something that will allow you to have an exorbitant amount of fun with your run.
14. Get Dirty: Run in the rain. Sign-up for a mud run. Get sweaty. Don’t be afraid to just get out there and get down and dirty.
15. Break The Rules: Show running who is boss by doing it how you want to do it. Try preparing for a race with your very own training plan or guideline. If you have experience with the distance this shouldn’t be a problem at all. Break the typical running mold and do something that other runners would not necessarily approve of 🙂
What do you think of Nat Nanton’s 15 tips? Do you think that applying them to running is helpful? How would you apply them to other aspects of fitness (boot camps, weigh-lifting, body sculpt classes, personal training)?
I know one thing is for sure–I think I can take a few of these tips with me on tomorrow’s 13 miler.