Running Perspective

I got to thinking the past few days. That happens once in awhile. So, I’m just going to share some random thoughts.

I’ve tried to run with pretty poor results but it’s OK. I stopped physical therapy but I still hurt. So, I take it one step at a time; literally. But, moving – even with a lot of discomfort – is better than not moving. Of course in the back of my mind I do wonder how long it’ll be before I can run again… if ever. Yet, I simultaneously feel I’m coming back; and that it is happening day by day.

Something that is becoming easier for me is not comparing my current “running” (I can barely call it that) with my past running. I have not raced in almost 5 years now. I’ve participated in some races – but not raced. I spend far more time coaching others. Intellectually I know I won’t ever run as fast as I once did. I do miss running fast and that feeling of power and control over my body. I used to be able to push my limits and loved doing so. Now – not so much. But, I still love the movement. I do miss running WITH my runners however.

I’ve learned over these recent years that I get a lot of satisfaction living vicariously.

I revel in the joy I see in runners I coach. I rejoice in their PR efforts and those breakthrough long runs. I have to sit back and smile seeing a time trial effort yield faster paces than ever imagined. The first sub-8:00 mile for someone brings as much satisfaction as that first sub-4:20 in another runner. Breaking 20:00 in a 5K; qualifying for Boston; hitting Masters All-American status; completing a first marathon; running a non-stop mile for the first time; all bring unique feelings of satisfaction.

I know what it takes to achieve these personal milestones. I see the diligence, persistence and patience it requires. The journeys are all unique and yet there are so many similarities. To see running, racing, and “succeeding” in running through each runner’s eyes is fascinating to me.

Here’s another thing I notice. Age is irrelevant. The delight of a 60 year old setting an age-group PR for the 5K is no less than that of a high schooler. We’re never too old to experience that rush.

Too often we are so involved with making progress, setting PRs or beating our arch-rival that we don’t enjoy the process of getting there. I miss the process. OK I also miss setting PRs and beating people. But I really miss the running.

As with so many things you don’t know what you have until you lose it.

One of the things that keeps me going is living vicariously through each one of you. Someday I might be out there again. In the mean time keep running for those of us who can’t. A bad day running is better than a good day not running. And remember – I’m coming back… I’m always coming back!


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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5 Responses to Running Perspective

  1. jim says:

    amen to that

  2. run4change says:

    Perfect perspective. Just being able to run AT ALL is a wonderful blessing. The joy of movement and pushing and living is what makes me appreciate running. Great post

  3. claudia ward says:

    One more reason not to take anyone or anything for granted….for it can be taken away in a heartbeat.

  4. Jimmy Holub says:

    Thanks, Dean! I don’t know if I will ever run again either. Life situations have prevented surgery and my knee will continue to degrade without it. As Nick Vujicic says, “If you can’t have your miracle, then BE the miracle for someone else.” …more motivation for coaching.

  5. Jimmy Holub says:

    I think it’s good to strive to be the miracle for others anyway, no matter if we are “healthy” or “injured”. However, I find it more difficult for me to focus upon that ideal when injured. But I believe that where physical weakness increases, other strengths can increase all the more.

    …which raises a few questions: What types of strength can increase? How? What or who is the ultimate source of these strengths?

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