The Running Life: Finding balance and loving what you do

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Juggling running, exercise, work, family, volunteer commitments and a social life can be challenging at best. Oftentimes, it can be downright difficult, though there are the few times one is able to soar, until challenge sets in and things progress to the difficult stage; on and on it goes, becoming a cyclical norm that you soon get accustomed to. Difficult much? Yes, Impossible? No. It becomes the goal of the challenged to strike a precarious balance so as to maximize the benefit of all.

Indeed, it doesn’t require any specific skill per se, but ideally a set of character traits and a passion or love for what you do that motivates the heck out of you. The average Joe seeks a purpose in life and has a desire to be happy. Uncovering his purpose and actively working/ walking it out sets him on a path to happiness and success. It is no different for the runner. He or she is able to enjoy the gift of running when other areas of life are in sync. Running may even be seen as the glue that holds it all together – the stress release factor to make sure that everything runs smoothly. However it may be looked upon, it is necessary to apply it in concord with life’s other goals. For example, for those with immediate families running is treated as a family affair. It is encouraged, supported and advocated among family members to ensure that the runner has support to successfully pursue it. As such, it becomes a daily routine of sorts, this ensures it has its place in the runner’s life and maximizes his or her chances of success. Also, it is viewed as much more than a sport, more as a lifestyle with healing and health benefits.

Many successful runners who are not pros pursue running as a passion and tend to build a support network around it. For my part, I find it easier to perform in other areas of my life with running and/or exercise as part of my daily schedule. A typical day either beginning or ending with running will generally flow between family, work and some type of social engagement. Of course I credit the healthy flow among my various roles to running and exercise. I’d be lying if I say I didn’t believe it centers me; but more than that, it gives me an outlet to express so many emotions (negative and positive) as well as provides a basis for my faith and personal growth.

The key on living a successful life, and that may mean different things for different people, remains pretty much constant across the spectrum: find a happy medium. In this your “happy place” you will be able to treat with the challenges of life and be able to channel any resulting negative energy into creating something good. You better believe it, fit and healthy has a lot to do with happy.

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