Running lessons: that (in) famous goal

I’ve been running for a little more than three months. I’m a long way from being a pro at it, and I don’t feel very graceful when I run, but I can firmly say that running has helped me grow in many ways.

This week, running really taught me a lesson worth learning.

From the beginning, my ultimate goal was to be able to run 5k. I never thought I’d be able to do it, though, so imagine my surprise when I did! Several times, in fact. Surprised, shocked – I just couldn’t believe it. Jaime Damak was able to run 5k without stopping.

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So I started trying to achieve that 5k mark every time I laced up my sneakers.

This was my mission. Go Jaime Go.

But some days, with the high heat and humidity, my body just couldn’t get past 4k. Other mornings, I felt more tired than usual and just didn’t have the energy, so 4k it was. Then, there was the morning where I hit the 5k mark and felt like continuing. Why stop when I could run for longer? That day I ran 6k.

Then, I understood.

I need to listen to my body. Yes, it’s good to have goals, since they provide positive motivation, but it’s important not to forget myself in the attainment of those goals.

Sometimes, you need a fresh perspective.

I got up, put my sneakers on, and went outside.

Before, I might have spent that time working, puttering away on my cell phone for half an hour or watching Netflix.

This new perspective helped me to see how far I’ve come. I choose myself each morning, I’m taking better care of myself, and I’m surpassing my limits. Yes, there are mornings when I don’t manage to make it to 5k, but that’s okay. It doesn’t make me a loser or a failure, or incapable of rising to the challenge.

No way.

It makes me a person who is able to listen to her body, who has the best of intentions, and who takes care of herself.

Now, when I hit the 4k mark, I’m proud of myself. I admit, when I manage 5k or even 6k, I might also let loose with a joyful whoop (I am a little bit competitive), but gone are the days when I would think of myself as a failure for running ‘just’ 4k or 3k.

Yup, gone.

A well-learned lesson.

Go Jaime Go.

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