I think we should all start running like children. Heck, I think in some aspects we all could benefit from being more like children in general…maybe that will be my excuse for acting like a six year old. Speaking of, who stole my box of Pop-Tarts, I don’t share those?!
Children, the younger the are, the more unshaped they are by their surrounds. Before the world can mold you, beat out a few qualities, put some limits on what you should do, set boundaries and establish rules you’re a ‘raw’ version of humanity. Now not to say beating out a few nasty traits (hello screaming child throwing a tantrum in the middle of the store and let’s all be thankful our parents forced us into potty training!) isn’t called for, BUT there are some qualities I wish were better retained. How does this apply to the world of running?
Children have whimsy. I like looking at ‘little kid art’ sometimes because it typically just makes you smile. Whether it’s the bright colors or the way too perky happy, smiling suns, it has a way of lightening the mood and puuuuulling a smile out of you whether you want to or not. Running has some severe highs and lows; we need to accept that and brace ourselves for the inevitable rough patches. In order to not let those lows break you, or your drive to continue training and come back, you have to stay positive. This can really sound annoying when you’re in the midst of a low, when you have someone telling you to smile you sometimes want to scream, “Yea, and I just saw a unicorn sh##ing rainbows out my window too!” But have your vent and then, in all honesty, maybe crack open a picture book and look for that unicorn. You never know, children dream up crazy stuff…whatever can force a smile out of you and kick your butt out of the poor me rut and get you back on track and moving forward is a good thing.
Children don’t know limits. Kids, if you tell them it’s possible to jump off the roof and fly will blindly try to go where no man has gone before, make that small step and giant leap off the roof. They don’t over-analyze a goal to death and wonder if they can do it, they literally just go and try. In running, if you out-think yourself from a goal you never end up even trying. You could fall short, you could make it, even surpass it, but you’ll never know unless you try. There is also something to be said for the journey in the trying, regardless of the outcome. Heck, I’ve failed plenty of times but still think I’m better for it in many aspects.
Kids are brutally honest. I love asking kids for an opinion on things. While I do write posts on lying to yourself about how much your hard running workouts will actually be as an effective mental ‘trick’ to getting through the workout…there are times when we should try on our honesty pants. These times though, are usually AFTER the fact, once the work is done and you’re setting your sights forward. After a race, a workout, or even a run, there are things you can learn and apply forward. A bad race can be the best thing in the world if you learn you made a critical error; learn, don’t make it next time, and have a PR. If you have a stellar workout, look back not just at the workout itself but the training leading up to it, see if there is a pattern of WHY you rocked it. This is one reason why having a training log is a major training tool.
Kiddies live in the moment. A kid can fall flat on their face, scream that it hurts (please, I hope you weren’t the kid who cried over every bump and bruise…put on your big girl/boy Pull-Ups! Hehe), get up and run to the sandbox. Running is an action; once it’s over and you stop doing it, the running part is done and in the past. Good if you’re having a horrible run, a little sad if you just set a World-Record and wish you could live the moment again and again. The bottom line is we can’t get stuck in the past if it stops us from living in the now and looking forward. If you have a bad race (fall on your face), do your vent and learning session (scream), then put your big Pull-Ups on and gear up for next time…don’t dwell on something like that, know you’ll have another shot to try again.
So runners: be dreamers, be annoyingly positive when the unicorn is sh##ing on you during a low, be brutally honest when you’re not lying your way through a workout, admit there will be falls that hurt but in the end pick yourself up because there will be better times ahead too.
Reminder: If you’re liking the art you see and would like prints of a certain piece check out my Etsy Store! If you don’t see the one you want there, contact me and I’ll get you squared away.
1) What is one trait that children have but tend to lose touch with as they get older? How can that trait be applied to running and could it be of benefit?
2) What is a trait that you are SO glad the world beats out of kids?
True fact, I may be deemed a horrible runnerchick for saying this, but I do not love kids…I’m picky as heck when it comes to kids I like. But that usually has more to do with parents, and I’m not going to open that can of worms. BUT the kiddos I stamp approval of I really adore, so don’t come egg my house. I will say I’m not sad to see kids grow out of the pull your hair and punch you in the gut thing.
3) What is one area that you need to start acting more like a kid when it comes to your running?