Just run sprints. That is what my dad used to tell me constantly whenever I’d complained that I’d hit a plateau in my running. My dad was a runner for years and years and is a huge reason why I got into running when I was 13.
As my dad aged, his body didn’t allow him to run anymore. There were a few times he would hop on a treadmill next to me at the gym and we could get in a couple of miles together side by side, but that was rare. However, my dad was always encouraging me to run better and smarter. But it’s kind of funny how the cycle goes.
After my dad died, I clung to running. It was the one thing I knew and could trust. I ran until I couldn’t run anymore. I’m not sure if it was the endorphins, the time alone to think or even the occasional crying session mid-run, but it helped me get through the hardest time of my life.
I’ve had all sorts of feedback on my love of running — a lot of positive and a lot of negative. I know it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, but that’s alright. I absolutely believe without even knowing it that my dad put running in my life to help me cope with the hardship I’d go through.
After my dad died, I developed severe anxiety from the situation, something I still struggle with. Running is one of the few things that alleviates that anxiety and is often one of the few things that gets me through the hard days. Conversely, there are days that my anxiety interferes with my running.
Every day I am beyond thankful that God has given me something tangible to help me get through the hard days. Running is my time to think, pray, cry, remember, etc. And let’s be honest, running is cheaper than therapy.