Yesterday I was running with one of my close friends and during the run we had a discussion about gratitude. Something I feel I forget to practice a lot in my life and in sport. Using gratitude to push through hard challenges such as exams at university or a hard training session can be very beneficial.
We all know that feeling, you would rather be doing anything else but running in the cold or revising for that exam – really anything that causes discomfort. However, I found that practicing gratitude was very beneficial to me and allowed me to perform better.
As we ran along the coast, we started to reflect on how grateful we were to be able to run.
We could see the snow on top of the hills with the warmth of the sun breaking through the cold winter air. We have this beautiful place to run which is right on our doorstep with clean sea air, so why would we even think about complaining right now?
Well because there was plenty of reason to complain, or what we thought there were. Number one being it was cold – no one likes running in the cold. Number two being we were running ten miles, another one that not everyone likes doing.
So, instead of complaining we decided to just be grateful for being able to be outdoors in the fresh air and really, we were grateful to be able to run. This allowed us both to push a little bit harder and we completed our ten miles.
I feel as humans we forget to take a step back and just relax into our activity. As I talked about in a previous blog post, I wanted to use 2021 to be able to find comfort in discomfort and I feel practicing gratitude has been a step in the right direction toward that goal.
We can get so caught up in sport staring at our watches to check our pace hoping that our run does not look slow on Strava. Now, I am not saying there is not a place and time to be training hard, however, we rarely just take a moment to feel grateful for the gift we have – to be able to move.
Practicing gratitude unlocks an important mindset in sport, and in life itself. Like in life, when exercise gets difficult and you feel as though you can’t go any longer – being grateful that you are able to participate in that activity brings a sense of joy allowing you to go further.
So, in 2021, why not practice gratitude when your training gets hard and see if it improves your performance and your feeling towards sport.
Thank you for reading! 🙂