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The Four Life Lessons You Learn From Running

Posted 8/23/2015 | News

By Amy Fallucca

After being a runner for more than 15 years, I realized many of the lessons it has taught me apply well beyond running. In fact, many of these things have helped me become successful at work and at home. Here, I countdown the top four life lessons I’ve learned from running.

4. You’re stronger than you think.

Running has taught me to push the bounds of what I can do physically and mentally. I would have never guessed that I could finish a marathon after starting to get severe leg cramps at mile 16. The confidence I’ve gained from running has helped me to take on projects I wasn’t sure I could do and ask for promotions to jobs I’d never done before. We are all truly stronger than we could ever guess, even if it doesn’t feel like it at times. So it’s important to push your limits and really try to see what you can do! 

3. If you think you can’t, you’re right.

If you’re a runner, you know that the moment you start to think you can’t do it is when things fall apart. All of a sudden each step seems harder than the last and you’re thinking about stopping. Your negative self-talk becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I believe the same is true for work and life. What negative beliefs do you have about your abilities? “I can’t learn computers.” “I could never eat healthy.” “I’ll never get that promotion.” Turn those voices OFF! Having positive beliefs about your abilities is a choice and a prerequisite to being successful at something. 

2. Pick yourself back up

During a 2-month span last year, I fell down while running on three separate occasions. I acquired multiple cuts, bruises, scrapes, and even a fractured wrist.  Right when my injuries from one fall were almost healed, I would fall again, breaking open the same wounds. At first, I had a great sense of humor about it and laughed at myself. By the third fall when I broke my wrist, I was pretty frustrated. Friends and co-workers suggested that perhaps I should take up another form of exercise. I endured many “That’s why I don’t run” jokes. I laughed, gave my wrist some time to heal, and then got back to it (being more careful to pick up my feet!).

I’ve “fallen” professionally more times than I can count. I’m in a new VP role at a challenging time for our company and I’ve made mistakes. But I persist. I look for the lessons, maintain a healthy sense of humor, and move on.

1. You won’t regret it.

“You won’t regret it” is the mantra I use to remind myself to have a bias towards action. It gets me off the couch and into my running shoes but it has a much wider application. Many of us hesitate to do the things we really want in life because we think they’re too hard, we don’t have the energy, we’re scared of the unknown, etc. (fill in the blank with whatever that excuse is for you personally).

 We spend huge amounts of emotional energy on these things when all we have to do is take that first step. If there’s something you want to do that will have a positive effect on your life that you’ve been putting off… do it! You may fail, but you won’t regret it more than not trying! 


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