The Joy in Movement

This January, I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon. It was a magical experience. It might have been a bit more magical if I’d been able to concentrate more on the race and less on the outfit I’d chosen. Attempting to run 26.2 miles in a dress isn’t something I’d ever try again.

As magical as the race was, the months leading up to it hadn’t been the best in terms of training. I’d been limited by the snow, the cold weather and icy roads. Training over the Christmas holidays had been another hurdle that had interfered with the training process.

Before I’d even stepped onto the plane bound for Orlando, I’d accepted that this would not be my best race time. I let go of the dream of a personal best marathon time and did my best to enjoy the race.

Since being back, I’ve experienced something even more fantastic than the Disney run; I’ve rediscovered the joy of running. I’d gotten so caught up in trying to fight against the snow and ice to get my runs in, to record my interval times and push myself to up my long distance pace, that I’d almost let running become something that stressed rather than de-stressed me.

Running four long distance races between July and January probably contributed to that stress as well. But now that I’m taking a break from training for races, I’m remembering how much I love running, how much it can revitalize me and help me clear my head when I have a lot on my mind.

There’s always going to be a place for training hard, pushing yourself and striving to improve your fitness level. But if it comes to a point where the push makes your activity of choice become joyless, then you won’t get as much out of the activity anyways.

The same goes for activities you might not particularly enjoy. If you don’t like running or yoga or certain forms of activity, there’s no point in forcing yourself to do them. Movement should make you feel good and be enjoyable. There still might be some discomfort during an exercise session if you’re working hard, but that discomfort should be something that makes you feel empowered rather than resentful.

Choosing types of movement or exercise that you love and keeping these types of movement joyful can make all the difference in the world in terms of motivation and consistency.
By: Kayla Van Egdom

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