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Reflecting on the year - The E Factor!

Posted by jcreane@btinternet.com on December 28, 2021 at 8:00 AM

As athletes we can become masters of reflection. We analyse how we feel often on a daily basis. We awake in the morning and look for the signs. Can I move across the landing? Is there any tightness? Are there aches and pains? Has the sore throat got better? How am I feeling on the run, during an effort etc etc..?

The list is endless, but we do indeed reflect and analyse throughout each 365 days or so. It's what we do. And on reflection its not easy living with oneself or easy for those that live with us. We give a great deal of importance to our running and our running related activities. It is indeed obsessive and there are times where we tread the lines of a healthy or unhealthy relationship with an activity that gives us much, but it rarely pays the bills.

We strive for good times. We strive for better. Perspective can be lost whilst we pursue pathways to contentment and achievement. It's a never ending pursuit. For some life long. But one thing I always try and keep focused on, is enjoyment. Once this starts to wane, I think thats the road to bigger problems. It's not just your running that suffers, but other aspects of your life start to breakdown, or at least can breakdown depending on how it affects you and how you react.

Running is an amazing activity when its going well, but the 'going well' phases don't last forever and there will always be times that offer challenge. It could be family, work or something else. Balance is a big thing in life and we are faced with daily dilemmas of how to prioritise our personal demands. However, I feel that having more demands is somewhat healthier than having no demands at all. At least if there are things to engage with, it can take your mind off the fact that you can't run or compete.

Running is an individual pursuit. We can say it's social and that our experiences are shared. Indeed we do share and experience good times together. But when you are not enjoying running and you begin to distance yourself from the activity, you realise that the individual aspect of the sport takes on a sharper focus.

We all started at the same place, with that first run. We did it to make a change, We did it for positive outcomes and we ultimately achieved enjoyment from it. This is ultimately where we need to consider when the chips are down. And the chips come down for everyone at some stage. They might not last long for some, but the diffciult times will always present themselves. This is where perspective is needed. Running is a part of our lives, but it's a part. Yes, an important part, but in reality we won't reflect on our running too much at life changing moments. Its a part that needs to be appreciated and enjoyed, but it mustn't dominate your existence We are all more than running.

So if you are making running plans for 2022, I suggest prioritising the E factor!

Enjoy it. Make that your first base always. A lot can come from enjoyment. Sending all good wishes for a healthy 2022!

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