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Running- By Lindsey Devaughn, MSW

I was an avid runner since 2003 then 2020 came along. COVID did not stop me from running. It was the multiple deaths we had in our family with family members suffering from cancer during that time, the struggle to cope with the death led to another death and in 2021 a third death. I only recently began a halfway decent routine again in 2023. Running for me wasn’t necessarily an escape but a way to manage the world around me. People say I have a lot of energy and struggle to sit still. Running helped me to find balance with that energy. It allowed me to be mindful and place my 100 thoughts a minute, in my feet. I then used the power to push from one step to the next while letting go of those thoughts. It helped me to be in the present. Another way I learned to manage the chaos in my brain was through my 5 senses. I would see the road ahead, I could hear the wind blowing, I could smell the mountain air, I would taste my recovery drink and I could feel the salt on my hands and body from sweating. This also helped me to stay in the moment. To aid in motivation it is nice to have someone that understands you and your struggles that can push you further than you could ever imagine.

I had a person that could and would push me to help me become not only a better runner but a better person. My coach in high school took me under his wings. He understood the chaos in my brain. He also understood that sometimes a run can cure all, as the words were difficult to express. I used to run to express and manage myself. Now that he has also passed away this year, I'm finding it more and more difficult to find the determination to continue. It’s easier to find motivation, the current struggle is continuing with determination. How do we find determination? You must decide what you need and want in your life. Do you want a change? Do you need a change? Despite hardships what are you willing to do? What are you willing to give up? What is your biggest fear? Set priorities. There are many things I admire about running one is the intense mind game you have with yourself. I’ve learned to feel the pain, which teaches me more about my body and its capability. Steve Prefontaine has a quote expressing his thoughts about pain. “It's not who's the best - it's who can take the most pain.” “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Another person that is very inspiring is David Goggins. He reports that, “when your mind tells you it’s quitting time, you are actually only 40% spent.” When we think we are at our breaking point, it’s really a negative thought rather than reality. With that being said, there will be times that our body is spent, and we should listen to our body. However, there are many times when we can push through our negative thinking patterns and persevere. For example, have you ever heard the term, “bonked out?” This means that you run until you hit the wall so to speak, your muscles run out of fuel; your legs feel like they can’t move, your lungs feel as if they can no longer breathe, and your eyes feel as if they can no longer see. Facing the fear of pain and pushing through that pain is one of the most beautiful and powerful things to accomplish. It can change your life, breaking through.


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