By: Hope Reid
In February of last year, I decided that I wanted to be a consistent runner. Prior to that, I hadn’t run in over 7 years. When it was time to actually get out and get moving, I wanted to be comfortable and as prepared as possible. For me being prepared meant having all that I could possibly need for a one mile walk/run. So I set out on my “run” with keys in hand, cell phone, ear phone, water bottle, a snack and sometimes a stick in case I needed protection from a squirrel or something. At the time, it didn’t seem much of a burden. After all, when I got thirsty, I had my water, when I was bored, I could talk on the phone or listen to music and when I got hungry, I could have a snack.
For motivation, I joined a local running group with a lot of very experienced runners. There I met a member of and was introduced to Black Girls Run! Tampa. Joining BGR! was exactly what I need. Eventually, the more consistent I became with my run/walks, the more burdensome my “comfort items” became and they began to weigh me down.
As a person of faith, I was reminded of a scripture that said to lay aside the weight that can slow you down and run the race with patience (Heb. 12:1). One day I decided to leave my ‘burdens” at home and just run. I anticipated that it was going to be difficult not bringing my usual things, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed my run. It was different from all of my previous runs. I was less distracted and more focused on my run. I was able to run at a slightly faster pace, longer distance and I even managed to get lost in thought.
A year later, when I go for a run, I wear a hydration belt with my key and phone and I run hands free. I know I still have a lot of learning, growing and maturing as a runner, but I’m grateful for the progress I’m made so far. I’ve noticed that the less loaded down I am physically, the clearer my mind is. So when I need that extra push to go another mile, my mind can support my decision to keep going and not be burdened down by unnecessary items.
About Hope Reid
I am a Chiropractic Physician, wife and mother of two children. I enjoy reading, educating the community about health, running and blogging all about it at www.DefiningHope.blogspot.com