Sports Psychology

Finding reasons to run – Meaning = Motivation

Finding reasons to run – Meaning = Motivation

There are as many reasons to run as there are people.

  • We run to relieve stress.
  • We run to feel free of “life” events.
  • We run to enjoy the shear movement.
  • We run to feel powerful and in control.
  • We run to sightsee – what better way to get to know someplace new right?
  • We run for the health benefits.
  • We run to decrease medications.
  • We run for general mental health.
  • We run to compete and to test ourselves.
  • We run to show others that we can do something they can’t.

Basically, running is something we do to enhance our lives. But I have found a special something in my running I want to share. My goal is to offer a perspective that might be helpful to those of us who get down or frustrated about our running, times, injuries or progress.

There is another way for many of us it enhances our lives. As we run we also create memories and stories. Part of my joy is being able to recount to others various runs and events – the good the bad and the ugly. Over time the run-story can become quite a bit more entertaining (good or bad) than it ever was in reality. It’s all part of sharing the joy we can find in something so simple as running. [Ask the high school running campers about them rolling on the floor laughing at my Deseret News Marathon 1977 account.]

Though that was certainly a memorable run most of my races have become foggy vague memories. My most memorable runs are ones that aren’t as remarkable in retelling. Instead they are about feelings they created in me. Only two are from races: Boston 1996 and Clinton 10k back in the 80s. It was not about the races. Boston was the 2nd slowest of my life. Clinton was not a fast time and though uneventful carries a special memories.

Why so memorable? Because I ran them with my brother Jim. We ran Boston from Hopkinton past Wellesley through the Newton hills and down Boylston St. together. In Clinton we tied for first place. That is one that will never repeat itself – and something I’ll cherish.

James and I have had occasions to run but they were very sparse living 2000 miles apart most of our lives. We ran Boston and Clinton. We have run on Bainbridge Island, WA; in North Reading, MA; Tucson and Phoenix, AZ. Those runs total about 2 dozen in the past nearly 40 years. And it is in those runs that my strongest memories lie. The companionship, support, humor, sharing, freedom and living life in the moment – THOSE moments that create memories and reasons to run.

We have the opportunity to make running more than about health, wellness, empowerment, stress management, story-telling and winning medals and bragging rights. It’s about making memories by living in the moment. And in my case, the strongest memories are the running-moments I share with my brother.

To James: “Thank you” will never be enough but thank you anyway. I still look forward to running with you again and again and again.

The next time you are out on your run, or struggling to GET out on your run; think about what it means to you… not just for today… but long term. The more reasons you have and the stronger those reasons the more likely you will pursue your goals.

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This post was written by:

- who has written 19 posts on Trail Running Club.

Owner of Mindset for Performance - a peak performance consulting service for athletes and business people alike. But here's what I actually do! As a certified mental games coaching professional I apply techniques and teach strategies from sports psychology - the psychology of peak performance - to everyone I can. I have worked with athletes from: tennis, golf, running, triathlons, duathlons, cycling, baseball, basketball, soccer, MMA fighting, and professional tiddlywinkers (ok I'm kidding about the last one.

I have a passion for sharing knowledge and see myself more as an educator. I love working with youth and really love seeing the difference the skills I teach make a difference in sports, school and home.

My work totally rocks!

Oh some other boring stuff about me:
• M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration (THE U of A) with post graduate work in sports psychology
• BS in Rehabilitation for the Deaf (Yes I know sign language)
• AA in nursing (early career)
• MGCP - Certified Mental Games Coaching Professional
• Certified running coach USATF Level I
• Certified track and field official USATF National Level

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