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Lessons Learned by Reluctantly Running written by Kuti Mack

Even though we're well past New Year's Day, I feel like we're near the start of something.

While I was reluctantly running today, I simply wanted to cleanse.

I wanted to breathe deeply.

Typically when I run, I often tend to get caught up in worrying about my pace. Because of that, sometimes I shoot out of the gate really fast and I end up feeling demolished when my run workout is done.

So today, I told myself, "You know what, it's a beautiful day. I'm just going to get out and move. I don't care what the pace says. I'm just going to try to focus on breathing deep enough to cleanse my system with loads of fresh oxygen…”

As I began, my running felt notoriously heavy and slow.

But I ignored that.

The app I track my pace with even told me I was heavy and slow…

And I ignored that, too.

As I continued, so did the app with its relentless reminders of how fast I was NOT going. This typically triggers me to run harder at a faster pace.

But then this happened: at some point I started relaxing.

Then, I noticed the pace tracker surprisingly indicating that I was starting to move a lot faster than I anticipated I could move or even intended. I was definitely moving faster than I'd been in a while.

I rarely pull off two "fast" runs in a row, and during my previous run workout from two days prior, I ran the fastest time I'd run in months.

So as I was contemplating in real time the fact that I was moving that fast, I coached myself. "Okay, just relax, KUTI…just relax. Let your body do what it's supposed to do...Breathe. Inhale deep. You’re not tired. What you're doing here is breathing, moreso than running. Make sure you hit either your distance mark or your time mark in terms of total duration. But relax...Disregard your pace..."

A third of the way into my total running distance, I was moving even FASTER.

Halfway in, I was still maintaining that fast pace.

The wildest realization I'm having at this point is that despite my sustained elevated pace, I'm not pushing hard.

I also noticed myself being totally focused on moving my left foot forward, then my right foot forward, while deeply breathing.

Additionally, anytime I saw somebody in my path, (socially distanced) I'd move out of the way, look them dead in their eyes, smile, and wish them a blessed and successful day.

I made sure that they heard me.

Reflexively, I was keenly focused on the variables that mattered.

I was focused on what builds me up.

I focused on my purpose: helping.

I was focused on encouragement, and while encouraging other people, I could hear myself...so I started encouraging myself because fatigue was burning through my body at this point but I couldn’t be out there telling them to keep up their pace while conspicuously trotting past them…just to then stop to put my hands on my knees and quit running in front of them, right?

So I kept it moving.

The thing about my running route is that it ends on an uphill grade that typically tends to destroy me EVERYtime I'm not feeling my best.

More often than not as of late, I'll just tap out and walk up the remainder of this hill.

This time, I looked at that last hill and said, "You know you're not gonna die if you run your hardest up this hill."

Armed with that cognition, I ran up the hill as fast as I could.

All in.

Arms driving back and forth in alternating fashion, running like I thought I was a world class sprinter chasing Usain Bolt!

I successfully finished the route and checked my time…

I ran the fastest time I'd run since the previous fastest time I'd run merely one workout ago!

For some reason during this run, I noticed all of the street signs.

I saw one that said "STOP."

I saw another sign that said, "No Outlet."

And in that very moment I was thinking "I'm tired, but there's indeed no outlet. There's a killer hill with no other way to get home than going up that bloody hill. Are you gonna walk up that hill, or are you gonna run up that hill?"

I locked in and glared at the crest of that hill on my horizon…and I ran.

Fast.

I've been quoted on numerous occasions saying, "If you finish two to three things in a day, you've had an extremely successful day."

That's still true.

But sometimes while focusing on those two to three things on our to-do list, we get paralyzed in figuring out which one of those three things we NEED to finish the most. We start one thing, and then we get pulled into some other thing, while the third thing just sits there staring at us.

What I want to encourage you to do today is what I did on that run: simplify your focus on the variables that matter most.

Let's focus on finishing the one main thing successfully.

Then, savor that victory.

Share that win with somebody you know that will be encouraged by it.

…And if you see a "no outlet" sign and don't have anyone to share your day’s triumphs with, share them with me via direct message.

I promise I will cheer you on and celebrate each one with you.

What does today mean to you?

Is it the start of something huge?

Is it a holiday?

Is it a milestone?

Is it just a beautiful day?

Is it a day with breath?

Whatever it is, I'm encouraging each and every one of you to make sure you run your best towards making today mean the MOST to you.

Have a wonderful day today...on PURPOSE.

Be YOUR best!

#BYBD

Creator of the 6-Week SuperYou™ Program, clients and audiences have affectionately dubbed KUTImack the “Fitness Philosopher” and the “Rockstar Professor” for his unique ability to share straightforward, experience-based expertise paired with inspirational philosophies that connect with people on a personal level.

IG: @KUTImack

FB: @BYBDFitness

Web: www.BYBDFitness.com

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