repost: life takes training.

Feeling slightly philosophical, I wrote the following post for my company blog. That’s why the voice is a little less casual, yet still fun. Not that I’m biased.

Life takes training.

I’ve always wanted to be a runner.

I was fairly athletic growing up, always playing sports through middle and high school and even into college, but running was never my “thing.” I could stick out a four-hour volleyball practice but huffed and puffed my way through even half a mile.

Then last year, my sister ran her first half-marathon, and I was seriously amazed. Flabbergasted, even (and just a tiny bit jealous). Thirteen-point-one miles? Was she crazy?

Turns out, no – but she was devoted. And that’s really all it takes.

Like raising a puppy (I’d assume a child as well, but as I have zero experience in that area, I’m staying clear) or making your way through college, running takes passion, patience and devotion. It isn’t something you rush into, which, for a while, I figured was my very downfall.

Explanation: I have a short attention span. I like hobbies that I can figure out (and somewhat master) quickly, which can be both a curse and a blessing in the PR industry. And I have the astrological profile to back me up (not that I take stock in horoscopes. I don’t. But this time, it really fits.).

Case in point:

“Geminis are so sharp and quick, wanting to learn all they can, it can be a weakness. Their superficiality often leads them to skim things rather than exploring them in any depth. Geminis may be the true ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ because of their short attention spans.”

A few months ago, I finally decided to stop using that stupid horoscope as an excuse.

I started running.

Slowly, at first, following a walk/run routine from Women’s Health Magazine, then keeping up with a consistent run schedule through the week to build my endurance and pace. I’m still pretty slow (10-or-so minute miles), but I’m now up to about 2-4 miles/day through the week and 5-mile runs on Saturdays.

And I have to admit, I’m pretty proud of my progress.

It’s easy to go through life and your career looking for the quick fix, which can swiftly lead to a quantity-over-quality mindset. I don’t say these words lightly: Get out of that mindset as quickly as you got into it.

I count my miles, but I also pay attention to how I feel during and after each run, that I’m not exerting effort where I shouldn’t, that I’m keeping a steady pace. And that I’m cross training on off-days so I don’t plateau, and resting at least one day a week so I don’t over-train.

Running not your thing? That’s fine. I’m not offended. But you can apply the same principles to whatever it is you’re doing. If it’s something worth going after, it’s going to take time to get where you want to be.

My first 5k-run is next weekend. At 3.1 miles, I know it’s not really a big deal, but my marathoner friends are the first ones to remind me everyone has to start somewhere.

I’d always wanted to be a runner, and now I can finally say I am one. And although 26.2 miles seems like a long way off, I honestly think I’ll get there.

It’s a hard lesson to learn, but it’s true: The best and most rewarding things in life don’t come quickly or (usually) just fall into your lap without any effort. They take patience, endurance and lots of training.

So how are you training for your life?

3 Comments

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  1. i like this post. and of course you can be a runner you have an ability to be great at anything you do. seriously. and i have a new nickname for you Hannah “parentheses” Shaner . i can be kai “run-on sentence” lynn.

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