20 Life Lessons Running Has Taught Me

While out on my long run over the weekend, I started to think about life lessons. You know, the sayings that are plastered all over Pinterest and have been a staple in your life from birth.

Do unto others as you would have done onto you.

That kind of thing.

I then started to think about these life lessons and running. They are universal. Really, these lessons could apply to any physical activity where you have a goal – Cross Fit, weight lifting, swimming, cycling, yoga, boxing, etc. Running has become a life-changer for me, a passion, an outlet but sometimes it can even feel like the last thing on Earth that I want to do. I’ve learned so much more about myself in the past 3+ years of seriously running and finding/pushing my potential.

To live my life as a runner and a good human being, I just need to follow these simple 20 life lessons.

1. You cannot reach that finish line unless you start.

You can't finish unitl you start - happyfitmama.com2. To be good at anything, you have to put in the time and effort..

3. Do the best that YOU can do. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Just be the best possible you. Run your own race.

4. No matter how hard you work and how prepared you are, disappointments will happen.

5. The most gratifying experiences usually come as a result of enduring the most painful trials.

6. If you focus on putting one foot in front of the other, you will eventually reach the finish line.

7. The mind is a very powerful thing. Training the mind is just as important as training the body.

8. Learning the difference between physically being unable to continue and giving up.

9. Accepting that every day is different — some days 5 miles is really easy, other days it feels like 50.

10. Enjoy the silence. There is too much noise in the world. Don’t be afraid of quiet, the sound of your breathing and foot falls.

Just Breathe - happyfitmama.com11. Don’t over think things.

12. A complete rest day at least once a week is needed.

13. The worst time, the slowest pace, the last person to finish the race is still better off than the person who refused to try.

14. Even if you fail, even if you cannot finish today, you can and should pick yourself up and try again tomorrow.

15. You’ve got to have patience. Faith. Goals.

16. Encourage others. Spread compliments. It makes everyone (including YOU) feel better.

17. Pace yourself. But don’t be afraid to run intuitively.

18. Run with your head up. Stay positive and confident. Look where you are going. And soak in as much of life as possible.

19. There is no finish line in life.

20. You are so much stronger than you think.

Stronger - happyfitmama.com

What life lessons have you learned from running or fitness?

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48 comments on “20 Life Lessons Running Has Taught Me

  1. “#4. No matter how hard you work and how prepared you are, disappointments will happen.” I think this is my favorite lesson you mentioned. So often we strive to be perfect in all areas in life – I especially. But ya know, why?! We’re never going to achieve every single thing we want, or at least in a timely manner. I truly believe it’s necessary that we do accept that sometimes things may just not get complete. It happens, it’s part of life.
    Jessie recently posted..WIAW: 10/29/13My Profile

  2. Thanks for this post! #7. The mind is a very powerful thing. Training the mind is just as important as training the body. This is my favorite. Once the mind is trained, the body will follow:-)

  3. I love your life lessons learned from running! Running has taught me to “just breathe.” I love the stress relief that comes from running and being able to be outside soaking in all that the beautiful nature of NH has to offer.

  4. Gosh, these are so good! #2 is gold, running has certainly taught me I can’t just get out there and go as far as XYZ just because I think I can and #10 is the perfect reminder to listen without hearing.
    I would add that running and life is about the journey, not so much the destination.
    Emily recently posted..Warm upMy Profile

  5. I was reading this trying to pick ones that most resonate with my running, but they ALL do ! I would say one that is true to form for myself that wasn’t mentioned is that the most memorable races aren’t necessarily when you’re hitting your paces exactly, but more so that you let yourself have fun and actually enjoy the run- soaking in all the scenery and race festivities.
    lisa j recently posted..Bourbon Chase Relay- perspective from a team in last placeMy Profile

  6. I needed to hear all of that today! I have had highs and lows running, but I keep on pushing, but I have no one here to help with the encouragement. The lessons reached out and grabbed me today like a hug 🙂 and I love “But don’t be afraid to run intuitively” I have been practicing this the last month and it’s really improving my running. I adjust to how I am feeling and I found out I can faster than I think!
    karen recently posted..MondayMy Profile

  7. I really like the one that says the hardest trials produce the greatest gratifying experiences. I am down with a stress fracture right now, but the lessons I am learning while sidelined may just be worth it all.

    Thanks for the motivational quotes!
    Mari @ Living with Purpose recently posted..Pumpkin Pecan SconesMy Profile

  8. I love this! Every point is true. Running has taught me more about myself than I ever thought possible. I am stronger than I thought and capable of more than I ever thought I could do. Each challenge makes us better but we have to start before we can achieve anything. Thank you for sharing!
    Jenna Michael recently posted..Healthy Halloween????My Profile

  9. I used to run ….a long time ago in a galaxy far far…..well, ok – before children at least.
    And one knee blowout followed by surgery — so I am little nervous about hitting the trails any time soon. and I don’t particularly like that nervousness – I should Conquer!! but my favourite one from your list is “run your own race”. I am still doing activity; my “race” has just changed: and I shouldn’t carry any guilt with that. Time may yet see me with the wind in my hair once again, but for now: I should carry on and forward giving my all in the current season.
    Rorybore recently posted..Happy Halloween 2013My Profile

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