Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown

334: Running with Gratitude: Finding Joy in Every Stride

November 23, 2023 Angie and Kevin Brown
Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown
334: Running with Gratitude: Finding Joy in Every Stride
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This Thanksgiving, we're talking turkey trots, frost-kissed college days, and the pure thrill of pounding the pavements. We're also sharing some of our own personal stories, and even our listeners' experiences. You'll get a snapshot of the funny, challenging, and even downright weird world of running. Get ready to learn, laugh, and maybe even waddle a little in your turkey trot costume!

Who says running is all about fierce competition and punishing pace? Sometimes, it's just about letting loose and enjoying the ride. We'll be discussing the importance of striking a balance between serious goals and good old-fashioned fun. Discover how shifting your perspective can help you appreciate the different aspects of running, be it speed work, endurance runs, or just a leisurely jog around the park. More importantly, we’ll talk about celebrating our ability to run, especially in the face of adversity. So, whether you're a casual jogger or a hardened marathoner, it's time to find joy and gratitude in every stride!

As we lace up our trainers and hit the road, we'll also be taking a deeper look at the mental and emotional aspect of running. We're peeling back the layers, exploring the importance of appreciating the process and not just the result. Hear our personal stories about the power of gratitude, even in the face of challenges. We’ll also discuss how being grateful for our journey, not just for reaching the finish line, can significantly enhance the running experience. So join us, let's celebrate the miles covered, the obstacles overcome, and the person we are becoming. Let's learn to run our lives with gratitude!

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Speaker 1:

This is the Real Life Runners podcast, episode number 334, Gratitude and Running. If you're looking for ways to bring more joy into your running and you want to be a physically and mentally stronger runner, you're in the right place.

Speaker 2:

This is the Real Life Runners podcast, and we're your hosts, kevin and Angie Brown. Thanks for spending some time with us today. Now let's get running.

Speaker 1:

What's up runners, welcome to the episode. Today it is Thanksgiving Day If you are listening to this podcast on the day that it is released, because we release our podcasts every Thursday. It is now Thanksgiving here in the United States, and so we want to just start off today by saying thank you, because we are so grateful for you, and we are grateful for those of you that listen to the podcast every single week, those of you that have left us reviews on Apple podcasts, that have shared the podcast with your friends, that listen to us in the car on your run. However, you like to listen to this podcast. We appreciate you and we are so grateful that you are here and that you choose to spend time with us each week. So, starting off right there, bringing the gratitude and today that's the focus of this podcast we really want to. We like to do a gratitude podcast every week or, sorry, every year, on Thanksgiving, because it always ends up on a Thursday, which is beautiful, and what better day to focus on gratitude for so many different things, but especially our running, than Thanksgiving?

Speaker 2:

Yes, our running, and turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and all the different things that you can enjoy on Thanksgiving. And maybe trotting with a turkey. Perhaps some trotting in the morning. People could be listening to the podcast while stuffing a bird and that's just awkward. So there's that. But possibly well well running a turkey trot too. So so many things that could be happening as a podcast is being enjoyed.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, watching the Thanksgiving Day parade or the dog show, that's one of our family traditions around here.

Speaker 2:

Good tradition with the dog show.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So are you the kind of person that runs a turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning, or are you someone that likes to sleep in? Maybe you do. Maybe you like to wake up and just run on your own. Maybe you like to sleep in and just wake up and watch the parade and the dog show and just have Thanksgiving be all about food and family. I would love to know. Come tell me on Instagram what kind of a runner are you? What are you?

Speaker 2:

Are you a turkey trotter or not Turkey trotter? I don't think I've ever turkey trotted.

Speaker 1:

Never.

Speaker 2:

I don't think I've ever run a turkey trot. You have, I have. I've cheered a turkey trot because of that, but I don't think I've ever actually turkey trotted.

Speaker 1:

I think I've only done one, though.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I think I did one. It's not an annual thing and I think there's a lot of people that might be surprised by that, you know, if they listen to this podcast just assuming that we're running, we're runners, we're running podcast hosts. And, of course, angie and Kevin are out doing a turkey trot on Thanksgiving.

Speaker 2:

I can't imagine when in my life I would have done one, because during high school the cross country state meet was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so we were in like full blown prep mode. Yeah. So you weren't doing it then In college you're still basically in season. Maybe there was something around Thanksgiving on campus that was considered a turkey trot. You had a chick run at your dorm, Was that anywhere?

Speaker 1:

near Thanksgiving, I think it was in April.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so that doesn't count yeah.

Speaker 1:

Because in South Bend, indiana, in November, well, number one, you're not on campus for Thanksgiving.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but if you had like near Thanksgiving like the weekend before.

Speaker 1:

I still feel like it's starting to get really cold and iffy around that time. I remember my first.

Speaker 2:

That's what it adds to the fun.

Speaker 1:

But I remember my first snow at Notre Dame was in November. It was in, I believe, early November, maybe the week before Thanksgiving. I was the crazy Floridian that was taking all the photos of the very light dusting on all of the trees of snow and the very light dusting on the grass and so excited that it was my first snow and then the first winter hit and piles and feet and piles and feet of snow. I mean later.

Speaker 2:

We didn't know each other but we had the same first snow and it started drifting. That morning, I remember, because I was in my ballroom dancing class Nice, and half the class was from the West coast and we were just staring out the window at this weird white stuff falling from the sky and the dance instructor, PE teacher was like all right, class dismissed, just go away. Because no one could focus anymore and all the Californians went running outside to like run in the snow, which was not even sticking to the grass. The grass was still completely green. I go to practice that afternoon and what became like barely a dusting in the morning turned into like several inches of accumulation by that afternoon. Did it really?

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

That afternoon was an absolute downpour of snow and melting rain. It was awful that afternoon. Wintery mix Wintery.

Speaker 1:

The classic oh goodness, it was so bad. Yeah, so we are typically not turkey trotters around here. I do typically go out and run on Thanksgiving. I just don't participate in the turkey trot, for whatever reason. I don't really have a reason against it?

Speaker 2:

I don't really have a reason against it. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So Anyway, come over to Instagram and if you do run a Turkey Trot, I would love for you to tag us in your pictures, Like, if you post a picture on your Instagram feed or your Instagram story, please tag us so that we can give you some congratulations and celebrate your Turkey Trot wins with you.

Speaker 2:

Whether you're in a turkey costume or not, but especially if you're in a turkey costume. Absolutely I want Molly Seidel to somehow post her picture to our Instagram feed.

Speaker 1:

All right, so you guys tag Molly Seidel and have her post it to our Instagram feed, all right. So today we're talking all about gratitude Gratitude in running, gratitude for running and gratitude around running. And we're going to look at this through three different views. Because the goal of today's episode is to really help you enjoy running more, because I think a lot of us get caught up thinking that running is just another box I have to check towards my health and fitness or towards some goal that I have set in my running, and that can often lead to dissatisfaction, boredom, inconsistency and just lacking that enjoyment of running. So we want to bring it back to joy today. We want to help you become more joyful in your running for all of it really looking at all of it. So the first thing we want to talk about is gratitude for the process, not just the outcomes, because so many times we get so focused on the numbers, we get so focused on the actual results and the goals that we're chasing that we may lose sight of why we started in the first place. We might even take exercise and fitness for granted and this whole running thing that we are able to do, this amazing thing that our bodies are capable of because we're so overly focused on the numbers and the outcomes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean there have been so many runs that I finished and been like, oh, that run didn't feel greater, that run was a little too slow per mile or whatever it was. And then you pause and you think about why I got into running in the first place. And it wasn't because I needed to check and see what my my splits were per mile on like a five mile easy run, like that was not the point of it. I got into running because it was enjoyable. I had other members of my family that did it. I had friends that that I made on the team that I was growing closer to, and we were all striving for this thing together and no one checked their watch to figure out the exact speed that we did. Whatever run we got together on a Tuesday, like that wasn't the point of it, there was a goal, but so many of the runs were just go out and run with your friends and that's going to be awesome. And over the summer it was just go out and run and have some fun and that was. That was amazing. So you know, keeping that in perspective, that it's OK to just go out and enjoy the run and appreciate the run, and you know, I've been posting way more to my Instagram than I have been in years, and part of that is an appreciation of what I'm able to go out and do, because years ago, when I had that series of seizures, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to run and train the way that I was still doing it. And sometimes I lose sight of that and it's nice to have some flashback and be able to say I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do this, and so I appreciate the run that I got in today, even if it wasn't as long as I wanted, as fast as I wanted. I appreciate that I was able to do actually go outside and go run.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that goals are one of those things that are super helpful for a lot of us. They can provide a direction for us to go, they can help people be more consistent with their workouts, and they can also sometimes be a hindrance. Sometimes they can be an obstacle to what you're talking about exactly, of just appreciating the run and appreciating running for running, for just being able to go out and do this amazing thing. And pushing too hard all the time often takes away the fun. Who wants to go out and do really hard things every single day? Now, I know I don't right Like there is definitely something to be said for doing hard things. There are so many benefits of doing hard things and becoming more resilient and challenging yourself and helping all of that to allow you to evolve as a runner and as a person. And, at the same time, if every run is hard, you're going to probably stop looking forward to your runs. You're probably going to not be as motivated or not be as consistent as you want, because every run can't be hard.

Speaker 2:

No, every run can't be hard. There has to be some give and take on this. You have to be able to take a breath, sometimes Like you can't just sprint all the time. And obviously when we say we're going out for a run, you're not going out and sprinting daily, but that's the extreme example that kind of proves. The point is, when you head out to run, it's not just a full blown sprint all the time. Yes, you could do it, but where's going to be the fun and the enjoyment of just grinding yourself into the ground day after day? Eventually you're just powder, if that's the answer, and it's hard to appreciate yourself as powder.

Speaker 1:

Right and, on the opposite hand, sometimes pushing hard is the fun part. I think that sometimes we can forget that also. Sometimes Right, sometimes pushing hard is the fun part, and do you recognize it as fun, or are you just thinking of running as something else to work on or something else to work towards? Is it all work or is there any fun involved in your running journey?

Speaker 2:

Is there any fun involved in like the hard portion of it? Because well, in both, yeah Right.

Speaker 1:

Because I think that we often we're working towards a goal right that that word work is often in our, the language that we use to describe our running.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so you talk about like going too hard can take away the fun. Make sure that you have the easy runs, that it's enjoyment there. But the hard days can also be fun, like if you're a little kid and you go out and run, it's fun regardless of the pace that you're going. Like little kids just in general enjoy running around until they're forced into structure of various sports and races and distances. Like that they just go run around and they're laughing and playing and jumping and not going in a straight line and arms and legs are flailing everywhere and somewhere along the way the the fun and the enjoyment is taken out. Can you tune back into that fun aspect and it doesn't have to be every time and sometimes you know you're in the middle of mile repeats or kilometer repeats or whatever thing is, and they're difficult and you have to really focus. But can you also take a step back? Can you do both simultaneously? Can you focus on what you're doing and take a step back and see that overall this is just a game and this is a fun thing that we're doing?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that it's really about reframing what your idea of fun is. Sometimes I think that it can be Sure it's fun, let's go run around and just do whatever we want, but also working towards a goal is fun and going out and doing speed work can be fun. I tell myself that all the time like this is the fun part. I get to go out and put. Some other people might think that the long, slow distance runs are the fun part or the short, easy runs are the fun part. Which part of your running do you find the most fun? And also, can you start to appreciate some of the other pieces that maybe aren't naturally fun for you? Can you start to appreciate those as being part of the fun? Maybe yes, maybe no, I don't know.

Speaker 2:

Maybe not necessarily the fun, but appreciate that you're able to do it regardless.

Speaker 1:

The process, not the outcome.

Speaker 2:

Again, the process, appreciate all aspects of the training, because that's what it is, and we're all blessed to be able to do this To all the different paces that you're doing and all the different strength that you're doing and what your body can go through. Can you just pause and appreciate that, because that is a pretty amazing process than not everybody is capable of undergoing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and when we talk about the process and not the outcomes, the other things we want to think about are routines and habits, because we talk a lot about routines and habits here on the podcast and also inside the academy. We help our clients build up these routines and the habits that will set them up for success and will set them up for the outcomes that they want to achieve. And these are fantastic methods for building that consistency and building those building up the things that we need to do to achieve the things that we want. But sometimes those habits and those routines can become monotonous and automatic I should say all the time. That's kind of the point, right. The point of the habit and the routine is for it to become more automatic and more monotonous. But sometimes, when we get stuck in that and we're only just kind of going through the motions and checking a box, we might need to take that step back and appreciate these small day-to-day tasks that we get to do Not that we have to do, but that we get to do every day.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I mean, that's the challenge of being able to move out of that routine occasionally. And people get frustrated in this of, oh, the beginning of my day got screwed up and now I'm not sure where I'm going to be able to run and I have to go get a run, and it just it seems like something that's dragging you down at this point and it's like no, you don't have to go run, you get to go run, and isn't that amazing. Let's find some time in the day that you get to go do this thing, and maybe it won't be as far as you were going to if the schedule laid out perfectly as it was going to in the morning, but you still get to go out and do this thing, and it's amazing so sometimes, that that jolt from your routine gives you the opportunity to appreciate what it is that you're doing. And maybe you're great at sticking it to that routine day upon day, upon day, and it has become super automatic. You can still just choose to pause and appreciate what it is that you're doing day upon day, upon day.

Speaker 1:

Right, because how many times do we start doing something and then maybe that thing gets taken away? If you've ever been a runner that has been injured, you understand the pain of not being able to go out and run. So this thing that maybe you took for granted before, maybe this thing that you didn't really appreciate Like you did but you didn't right, like you know it was great and you know that it was beneficial. But maybe if you are now in a place, or if you have ever been in a place, where you were now not able to do that thing, you can appreciate it even more and look forward to getting back into it. And so maybe that's you and maybe it's not you. Maybe you've been one of the lucky ones that hasn't gotten injured, and that's a fantastic thing. Or maybe you're inside the academy and you know the right way to train and so you don't have to suffer long periods of time with an injury that keep you out of running. But can you appreciate it before it gets taken away? Can you appreciate it in the moment that you're actually doing it?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I know you know so many of us. We have a whole lot of tasks that we do every day that are just like automatic tasks and some of them, you know, are a little mundane. Like it's tough to say, oh, I appreciate brushing my teeth in the morning, angie does, because it gives her a chance to do calf raises. But not everybody's going to step back and be like, oh, I appreciate the calf raises, but every night before we go to bed I give Angie a kiss and that's, it's a thing, it's a routine, but it's also something to say I am blessed to be able to do this. Like there is an appreciation for that and it's a small act and it is. It is a routine, it's what we do before we go to bed at night, but there is appreciation in that small act also.

Speaker 1:

Right and you give me a kiss before you leave for work in the morning too, and if there's ever a day that you don't, I'm like what the heck?

Speaker 2:

What the heck just happened.

Speaker 1:

Right, like it's something feels off. But do I appreciate it? Every single time I try to, but I will be one to admit that sometimes it's just something that we do, right it's sometimes going on in the morning. And we have been more intentional with some of those, you know, signs of affection with each other and like actually taking that time to not just do that routine little kiss and actually experience it. And I don't want to get into like a weird thing for anybody listening to the podcast here, because I can already hear like all of the girls on the cross country team and like our girl is going, you know, and making that sound, because we're God forbid talking about kissing, but not not to be inappropriate in any way. But we're two, we're married people that love each other very much and that's one of the things that we do to show our love for each other. So I'm not sure how that this was definitely not in the outline. We were in the outline. We're talking about restrictive dieting here.

Speaker 2:

I thought this was a better metaphor.

Speaker 1:

So, but yeah, it's true, though, right, there's a lot of things that we do on a daily basis that we sometimes take for granted. I mean, if you don't brush your teeth, then you have that icky mouth feeling.

Speaker 2:

And eventually you run out of teeth to brush.

Speaker 1:

And eventually and I'm sure you'll miss brushing your teeth then there you go. Exactly All right. So that was gratitude for the processes, not just the outcomes.

Speaker 2:

Wait, hold on. There's the line. There's the line that my grandpa used to say on brushing your teeth you don't have to brush all your teeth, you only have to brush the ones you want to keep.

Speaker 1:

But don't such a good one from that generation Just like did you get a haircut? No, I got them all cut there you go Teeing it up for you there, Kay Brown.

Speaker 2:

Thank you.

Speaker 1:

All right. The second thing we want to look at, or second way we want to look at, gratitude is can we be grateful for the challenges and the obstacles? I think it's very easy for us to be grateful for the good runs. It's very easy to be grateful for the runs that feel amazing when we go out in the middle in nature and we see the sunrise or the sunset and the weather is perfect and we see all the little birds above and maybe the stars, and we can really appreciate how everything is just lining up and feels great. But can we also be grateful for the challenges and the obstacles? Because sometimes, when things get hard, we tend to pull back from those difficult parts of training, which leads us to not make the progress that we want to do. So instead, if we kind of flipped it and decided to be grateful for the hard things and for the challenges and for the setbacks, even right Like that's a whole different level If we can be grateful for all of it, imagine how much more rich and full our running experience can be.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean what you point out. There is. A lot of people get to a challenge, they get to a tough run and they decide that every run that looks like that type of run oh, that was a speed session, I wasn't, and it didn't go well. That was a long run and I was good for the first 45 minutes, but then it didn't go very well. Suddenly they start pulling back and shying away from those kinds of runs and they can't figure out whether or not they're making progress.

Speaker 1:

Or they wish that those runs didn't happen.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wish the ones didn't happen.

Speaker 1:

Or hope that it doesn't happen. Oh gosh, I hope this one isn't like the last one.

Speaker 2:

Right, which is just a setup for that thing to happen again, because then you're focusing on what happened last time and you got to look for the potential of this. One's going to be amazing and if it's not, this is going to be a challenge. And that's where the gratitude for the challenge exists, because you know that the growth is coming from the challenges. If you want to actually build and improve your running staying in that comfort zone, staying inside the cave where everything is nice and comfortable, of like, I'm good with this distance, I am good with this speed, it's fine but if you'd like to grow, you have to push beyond that comfort zone and sometimes beyond the comfort zone it's a little bit of pain and it's a little bit of struggle and it's not always going to go the way that you want it to. Sometimes it will, but this isn't gratitude for hard runs. This is gratitude for runs that aren't going well for you. This is gratitude for the runs that you're struggling, the workouts that you're struggling, and still appreciating those as part of the overall journey.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that that is not an easy thing to do and it's not something that comes naturally to us.

Speaker 2:

No, we want to avoid that as much as possible. Like naturally, we want to try to avoid struggling. That's the whole idea and celebrate wins Like everybody's. Like oh, I had such a hard workout and I pushed through and I did great. No one celebrates that. I had such a hard workout and I stopped halfway through because I just couldn't physically pull it out anymore.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but how important is it for us to recognize that that happens also and I think this goes back to the real life. Part of real life runners is can we be grateful for all of those times? And maybe you're not quote unquote proud of it because you didn't show up the way that maybe you wish you would have, but is it real? Yes, did it happen? Yes, do other people experience the same thing? Absolutely, and the more you can lean into that, I think, the more relatable we can be with other people. I think that oftentimes, people will look at you specifically and see how fast you are or how long you can run and think that you are somehow up on some sort of pedestal. So when you talk about your struggles, when you talk about big goals that you shot for and missed, that makes you a lot more relatable also, and so it's so beneficial that you share those things with our audience and with me and with the other people that know about your running journey, because it makes you real and we don't want fake. We, as humans, don't like fakeness. We can sense it. We like people that are real and authentic, and struggle is part of the human experience, and struggle and obstacles are part of running, because running really is a mirror for the human experience, and so if you didn't have that, it would be odd, it would be abnormal. So, as a human and as a runner, we have to be grateful for those obstacles or those challenges or those quote unquote fails, because it makes the journey to the wins even more important. It makes the wins even sweeter when we do achieve them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean you made a really good point there, from a training perspective, of if we didn't have the struggles, if we didn't have the chances where we quote unquote failed in workouts, then we're not really pushing ourselves, like if every time you try a workout, you're super successful at it. You're probably not pushing yourself all that much, and there's something we said about training from where you're at. Instead of pushing yourself always and again. Most of your running should be super, super easy running. But there are parts of the speed workouts where you want to challenge yourself and you want to actually set you up for the potential that that workout is going to be a crash and burn session, because it might not be, because it's possible that you set yourself up for a disaster, that you're like all right, I'm going to try this and I'm going to give it the best that I can, and maybe seven out of 10 times it does not go well for you, but if you don't try it, you don't get the shot of three out of 10 success and that's huge. That's where you have this astronomical growth potential is, every once in a while, tapping in a workouts that might go terribly for you and accepting that this is going to quite possibly go really poorly for me and then I'm going to have to drag myself back to the trailhead or my car or the house or wherever you started to run, and it's going to be rough. But if you don't give yourself the potential, if you can't appreciate the possibility, then how the heck are you going to ever make that huge growth? You need some of those negatives that can possibly be positives.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely, and if life was always easy, like how fulfilling and satisfying would it be? You know, I always think about that and we do a lot of puzzles around our household during the holiday season. I don't know how we didn't start one this week. We haven't yet because we have a fort currently built in our living room, possibly the main reason. That would be the first reason. And the other daughter had to sleep over to start the week and we were away at the state championship. So you know, time hasn't just been floating around. I don't know how it's Tuesday quite frankly, I know, but in general with so maybe not this break, but for Christmas break we usually have a puzzle going and putting together a thousand piece puzzle is not an easy task and you're often taking a piece and you kind of try it in a spot and you turn it and you twist it and maybe it fits and maybe it doesn't fit. In all likelihood it most likely doesn't fit right, but getting the satisfaction of getting that piece right and actually finding pieces that go together feels so much better, because you've tried 10 pieces that didn't fit in that spot and then you finally find the one that belongs there.

Speaker 2:

Right. If every time you tried to put a puzzle together, you just picked up a piece and you put it in the right spot, and you picked up the next piece and you put it in the right spot, no one would do a second puzzle.

Speaker 1:

You mean like the Puzzle Master does every single time?

Speaker 2:

Yes, I understand that I'm the Puzzle Master. It's weird that you tell people that on the podcast that that's that's the name, that you call me, the Puzzle Master.

Speaker 1:

He's trying to take over my title for some reason yeah. The Puzzle Master. I self dubbed Puzzle Master. I mean you can ask both of the girls who the Puzzle Master in the house is. Let's call them out right now and ask them. Let's not do that. But yeah, it's one of those things that when we have fun, obviously we're and we're definitely not competitive clearly around around this house. I wonder what, where the girls get it or, you know, completely go in the opposite direction from it.

Speaker 2:

It's fine, it's puzzles and we can pull back a little bit from the competition during puzzle putting together. Like we're putting together a picture of the birth of Christ and we're like, no, no, no, I found Jesus's head. Like it's, it's going to be fine. Let's just pull back and enjoy putting the puzzle together and the struggle along the way or the classic hiding the last piece. I have never hidden the last piece.

Speaker 1:

Our girls have oh 100% they have.

Speaker 2:

I believe they learned it from the Puzzle Master.

Speaker 1:

I've never. I have done that before, but it's usually as a joke, and then I usually give it to one of the girls to put in. So all right. So that is gratitude for the obstacles. So so far we've talked about gratitude for the process, not just the outcomes, gratitude for the challenges and the obstacles. That will help us to appreciate the good times even more. And the third thing we want to focus on is gratitude for the person you're becoming on this journey, because so many people, so many of us I will put myself in this category because I have fallen in this trap before. I'm I'm much more aware when I find myself in this trap, but we all tend to do this thing. I think, and it's it's thinking that we're not there yet. And when that, when I finally accomplish that thing, when I finally accomplish blank, fill in that blank with whatever it is you, however, you qualify yourself, then I'll be thankful, then I can express gratitude, then I'll finally be a runner, then I'll finally be a successful business owner, then I'll finally be whatever it might be. And we're constantly thinking that there is some finish line of when I achieve this goal. Then I can be thankful because then I will have actually accomplished the thing that I set out to accomplish.

Speaker 2:

Right, and the term for this is the arrival fallacy is once I get to that place, then I can actually call myself whatever it is. So once I I finish a marathon, then I'm a real quote unquote real runner. It's like some people put that out there Once I break two hours and a half marathon, once I break a certain time limit, so they know that they have a distance and a time connected to each other to qualify themselves as whatever the thing is, then I can be this thing and then I'll be grateful for it. And this mistake is so easy and running as, as you pointed out in your outline here, it's very easy to make this mistake because there is a literal finish line that you will bring yourself to. So it seems pretty easy to say, once I cross that finish line because there is one, and there's not always one in other aspects of life, but there it is, with full blown finishers, metal around your neck, to say you've now done this thing. Yeah, there's proof and evidence, yes, and, and yet you can still be grateful, for it goes back to the first one. It's grateful for the process, because it's grateful for the changes that you're undergoing as you become the next version of yourself.

Speaker 1:

Right, you don't actually become a marathoner and people might argue with this, and that's fine. We would argue that you don't become a marathoner when you cross the finish line of a marathon. You become a marathoner during the process of marathon training. So, really, if you're looking for a line, it's when you tow the starting line, not that's the one when you cross the finish line, because then, like when you are just standing there at the starting line, you know you are a marathoner. You've put in the work. You just now have to do the last piece of the puzzle, which is that 26.2 miles.

Speaker 2:

Just hope the puzzle master is not hiding that last piece of the puzzle and sitting on it.

Speaker 1:

But, what we have to realize what we have to realize is that you are amazing already just for being on this journey and that you are always in the process of becoming so. Can you be grateful for the person that you are currently becoming on this journey, for the person that you currently are, the person that you're becoming, the person that you will be in the future, because when will you ever truly get there? There is no end. If you are a runner, in my opinion, like I hope that if you're listening to this podcast, you would like to run for the rest of your life if possible, and so hopefully, there's not a finish line to your running journey, recognizing that the beauty is in the journey and the beauty is in the process of who you become during this journey, and that is the true reward. Can we be grateful for that?

Speaker 2:

I think when you start having gratitude for that, running completely changes. If you had asked me several years ago, are you a marathoner towing the line? I would have strongly argued no, you better cross the finish line. They need to put a metal around your neck. And then you've done it. I mean, you kind of could do it if you just ran 26 miles around like the streets around your neighborhood, but really you should enter a race and cross the finish line and I would have argued that and I don't think that that's right and I don't think that it's as as positive of a life experience either.

Speaker 1:

Well, because one of the things that we teach inside of the Academy is the importance of identity and importance of knowing who you are and also deciding who you are. Deciding who you are, deciding who you want to be and then figure out how to become that version of yourself. Because maybe where you're sitting right now in your car or maybe where you're running along the road right now, maybe right now you're not capable of going out and running a marathon. Like if you were to go out right now and try to run 26.2, there are some of you that would be able to do it and some of you that would not be able to do it, that would need to stop for whatever reason before you actually reach that point. But it is in the process of training for the marathon that you become a marathoner and you have to actually accept that identity of marathoner in order to do the work to get there, because you have to start thinking like and acting like a marathoner, someone that runs marathons. Because you have to like. Our identity is the core of all that we do in our lives, because from our identity becomes our thoughts and our beliefs, which then lead to our actions, which give us the results we have in our lives. So you have to take on that identity first and become that person in order for you to get the results that you actually want.

Speaker 2:

Right. So by taking on that identity, it allows you to say this is who I currently am, this is where I'm heading with my running journey, and I can both appreciate where I currently am and appreciate all these steps along the way as I grow into a new version of myself. Not a different version, just a new version. And because you're, we're all continually evolving through a running journey. Like there was a while that I thought the answer was going to be half marathon runner and there was a while I thought the answer was going to be marathon runner. There's a while I thought the answer was going to be in cross-country coach. I've changed so many times along the way as to where the priorities are, that appreciating the journey over finish lines, over having to get to whatever that accomplishment is, to say that I'm successful, to say that now I can stop and be thankful for that thing. You have to be appreciative of the process, otherwise you're going to stop the process.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that oftentimes we think that we can't be grateful now because it will stop us from striving for more, and what we want to offer is that it can be both. You can both appreciate where you are right now and be grateful for everything that you are, everything that you have, everything that's happened in your life up to this point, and, from that place of gratitude, strive for more. Just because you want more doesn't mean that you're unhappy with where you are now. You can both be happy and content and satisfied and also still want more. And that's one of the big things that I think people get wrong. They think that well, if I'm satisfied now, if I feel happy or content, then that's going to stop me from wanting more, and I would argue that it's the opposite.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so many people feel like if they're satisfied now that it splashes water on the fire that should burn within them so they can, they have that internal fire and motivation to take it to the next level and that satisfaction with right now just splashes cold water on that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but I think that if you constantly do have that fire of like I'm not good enough and I have to keep doing things in order to make me good enough, you'll never actually get there. Oh, you're never going to get there.

Speaker 2:

No, and you'll, because you know, let's stick with the fire metaphor here. You're going to burn yourself many times along the way, whereas, appreciating where you currently are, you get to just sort of take that fire as a torch and lead yourself on this amazing journey. You like that? Did you just come up with that? Nailed that.

Speaker 1:

You like totally came up with that on the spot. I like that one. Thank you Very good. But it's like anything in our life, any journey that we have in our life, any identity that we take on for ourselves, like being a good mom. When do I ever decide I'm a good mom? I literally just decide that right now. Like right now, I decide I'm a good mom and I keep doing things to try to make me a better mom. I keep trying to grow as a mom and try to learn new things about who I am and who my daughters are and ways that I can help them and support them in their growth and their development, because you all know, if you have kids, it never stays the same. They're constantly changing. I'm constantly changing, they're constantly changing. Maybe something that I said to them last week was the right thing to say, and if I said that same exact thing this week, it would be the complete wrong thing to say who knows right? Because things are constantly changing and evolving and so I can decide that I am a good mom and then act from that place like as a good mom. This is what I think a good mom would do. This is how I think a good mom would handle this situation. So that's what I'm going to do.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to act out of that identity right, and sometimes that that creates struggles and challenges that are not not easy, and sometimes it's. It looks like failure in the moment, but it all comes from a place of I'm. I'm a good parent, and this is what I think is the best way to handle the current situation and I might get it wrong.

Speaker 1:

Right and being a good parent doesn't mean you get it always right.

Speaker 2:

It means that you're constantly learning and evolving and open to the process open to the process, and that's how it relates to running is what the heck does being a better runner mean, because training theory is changing all the time, and nutrition theory and how to actually get yourself as fast as possible and is being a better runner for you actually seeing how fast you could actually get, maybe depending on what else is going in your life? You just want to have some sustainable, healthy. I'm going to get out there and run on a regular basis to be as healthy of a person as possible, because there's a whole lot of other things going on in your life and trying to crank out a marathon PR would not be the healthy choice, right then. So being a better runner does not necessarily mean ignoring everything else in your life and doubling down on whatever that next running goal is. Being a better runner changes for for each person and for people from you know, one season of their life to the next. So just saying I want to improve and be a better runner is a constantly evolving process because of the world that we live in, because of our own lifestyles.

Speaker 1:

Like our life changes, therefore, the best runner that we can be changes along with it yeah, and so can you be grateful for the person that you are and also the person that you're becoming in this process yeah, and the person that you were previously to get you to where you are yeah, absolutely past me. Past me made a lot of mistakes, but I'm grateful for her because it's gotten me to where I am today.

Speaker 2:

Yes, past me, allowed me to get to here and here is going to allow me to get to the next place, and so I have to be appreciative of things that I did in the past.

Speaker 1:

Even if I look back at them, I'm like man, that was not the smartest of choices maybe that wasn't the best choice but they all got me to where I currently am, so maybe it was the best, and so it had to have been the best choice yeah, it's so interesting when you start to look at it, at life that way, and start to give yourself more grace and more just like yep, this is part of my human experience and that's a beautiful thing yes it is all right, you guys. I would love to know what you're grateful for. So, if you follow us on Instagram, head over to real life runners and shoot me a DM. I would love to know something that you're grateful for. And if you don't follow us, do head over to real life runners on Instagram. It's, you know, instagramcom forward slash real life runners and, as always, we appreciate you guys. We are so grateful for everything, every single one of you listeners, every single download of the podcast. Like when I look at our download numbers, I realize that there is a person behind every single one of those downloads, and it is not something that we take for granted, it is not something that we take lightly, and we appreciate every single one of you those that we know, those whose names we know and faces we know, and those of you that we've never met and those you know names and faces that we don't yet know. We appreciate all of you and thank you for being here with us. If you want to be a part of the real life runners insiders list and where you can get our latest resources, our latest podcast episodes, our latest articles, sent directly to your email address every single week, head over to realliferunnerscom and click on the box right at the top of the screen and get on our real life runners insiders list. We've got some special things planned for the upcoming year just for the people that are on our email list. So if you're not yet, if you don't get our emails yet, head over to the website and get on that list so you can become a real life runners insider today. And, as always, thanks for your time. This has been the real life runners podcast, episode number 334. Now get out there and run your life.

Gratitude and Joy in Running
Balancing Fun and Goals in Running
Appreciating the Process and Challenges
Recognizing Struggles and Growth in Running
Gratitude and Identity in the Journey
Parenthood, Running Goals & Evolution
Listener Appreciation and Call to Join