Imagine a world where you could do whatever you want whenever you wanted to without having to worry about other plans? Wouldn’t that just be the best thing ever?! Well, as we all know, that’s not the life most of us live in, and instead, we constantly find ourselves overwhelmed by our schedules, or sacrificing other plans we may have in place of work or school. I don’t need to tell any of you how tough it can be, and in my case, I found it particularly difficult to find time for working out last semester. Between school and work, any free time I had automatically went to homework, and I grew pretty fed up with it after a while.
For me, exercising the mind is just as important as staying in good physical shape. I found myself tired constantly last semester. I was worn down and I slipped into a bit of a funk from my stagnant routine without much physical activity. I loved my classes. I love my job, and I have a great time with my friends, but there was a certain release that I wasn’t getting, and until now I really couldn’t put my finger on what it was.
This semester, while I am significantly busier than last, I’ve been able to build a schedule with running and other exercises in the routine, and that’s absolutely thanks to the schedule given to me by my coach, Michelle. Knowing exactly what I need to do on each day, and how long it is going to take me has made it tremendously easier for me to fit in running time as opposed to last semester when I didn’t really know what workout I was going to do, which caused me to opt-out altogether.
I think I’ve gotten my point across about just how far I was from being a runner before beginning the Run Happy Revolution Training. Since starting this program however, I’ve learned how incredible it is not only for the body, but for the mind as well, and I know now that giving myself however long to get out and run or go to the gym to spin or do yoga was the release I was missing both physically and mentally. I’ve learned how to fit it in because not only do I want to, but I need to in order to keep my mind right, and my body feeling energized enough to get through the busy days.
As I have learned how to fit a good workout into my busy schedule, life still seems to get in the way with prior commitments like group training days. When I found out these would be held on Thursdays and Sundays I was psyched, because of the seemingly perfect way my schedule worked with that, but then I was hit with the reality of group projects and extra credit opportunities, spring break and maid of honor obligations, and the dreaded strep throat, which all kept me away from group runs.
An important side note: I was NOT raised to bail on commitments. I grew to love the group runs, and missing them made me feel awful regardless of the fact that I knew it was justified. It’s simply not my thing.
After some time however, I opened my eyes to the fact that I still have the support when I need it, and as long as I’m keeping on track through the busy schedule, I will accomplish my goal of running this upcoming Shamrock 5K. It may not be the most ideal approach by doing it without the group most of the time, but I’ve impressed myself with how fully engraved into my schedule running has become. Let me tell you, if you asked me 2 months ago if I thought that would happen, I would have probably giggled with self-doubt and made a snarky comment about how running isn’t my thing, and I would probably never get into it.
Well, here I am; just a few days away from the Shamrock 5K, and I just got back from spring break where in the past, I would have rotted on my couch with minimal physical activity. Instead, I was up and out at some point every day including Sunday when my dad cooks breakfast for everyone, and if you could have seen the looks on my family’s faces when I walked in post-run, you all would have laughed.
Life gets in the way. That’s never going to change, but the Run Happy Revolution Training Program has taught me how to keep running a top priority without worrying about all of the other things I need to get done. Running has become the release I’ve been missing to clear my mind, and stay healthy. It’s removed me from the harsh self criticism I’m used to for seeming flaky, and it has taught me that as long as I’m staying on pace to make my goal, no one is going to be disappointed.
Shamrock 5K HERE I COME!!
About the Author: Melissa Macaluso
Melissa is a senior at Loyola University and our Marketing Intern. This Spring, we talked her into joining the new Run Happy Revolution 5K Training program and blogging about her experience. Keep track of Melissa's experience training here!