“Running taught me valuable lessons. In cross-country competition, training counted more than intrinsic ability, and I could compensate for a lack of natural aptitude with diligence and discipline. I applied this in everything I did.” – Nelson Mandela
Running, especially long-distance running was once a sport only for young fleet-footed men. However, in the course of three decades, this sport had had surprising changes. More and more people began to realize its many benefits. This includes the gift of camaraderie. For all runners, old and young, a key aspect of running is in friendship, fellowship, and camaraderie of like-minded people. That is why people from all walks of life consider running as one valuable sport. The following are just some of the many lessons you can learn in pursuing the sport in running:
1.) It provides you a time to reflect, to discover new sights and places, and to look closely on familiar localities.
2.) It can serve as an opportunity for you to have meaningful and uninterrupted conversations. Running with others provides a leeway for conversations on different aspects of life – a thing that you are restricted to do so during busy days of working.
3.) It can enhance your self-esteem and self-worth. Anyone committed to the experience can learn much far beyond the best brand of shoes and training regimen. When you are in sports you tend to be more conscious of your health and well-being. You fully realize that being healthy and caring for your self brings out the best in you.
4.) It teaches you to be persistent in reaching goals. “Negative thinking itself impacts on performance,” says Barry L. Zaret, MD. In his paper Some Lessons of Long Distance Running, he wrote that “anyone completing a 26.2 – mile marathon knows that the success of a long-distance event is governed as much by the cerebral, emotional, and psychological as it is by musculoskeletal and cardio-pulmonary function. By being persistent, a runner is able to hone his skills and ability. Long-distance running strengthens your body in handling body stress.
5.) Running also teaches that you must not push yourself beyond the limits to realize full potential. You must know your limits and be humble with your abilities and potential. Some runners lie about their actual training regimen to show that they are better than others. This misleads followers to thinking that to be good as their idols they must equate their level of training or even surpass it. By pushing yourself beyond the limits you might end up injuring yourself. It is always safe to consult your coach about your training limits.
6.) There can only be one champion. Barry L. Zaret emphasizes the fact that competition for being the champion in distant running lies within oneself. Your goal must always be achieving your best performance or meeting or surpassing previous records. By having this mindset, you will always feel a winner.
7.) Running is a constant trying for better ways. You must always keep a mindset of vibrancy as being good at distant running requires continued activity and fresh challenges. Vibrancy transcends chronologic age and time. This explains why many men in their 40’s and 50’s are still active in running. Physical activity of running brings them a sense of vibrancy and lets them achieve a healthy lifestyle. As many older men believe, the sport of distance running knows no limits.