Yes to the Morning Run. I’m a believer and a practitioner. This could also be a Morning Walk or Morning Yoga. It doesn’t have to be a run, but as a runner the Morning Run is the best of all the running I do. The video below caught my eye as I was blog-hopping and while most of it made me smile and nod politely, one point made me want to throw my phone. If you watch first you’ll understand my rant better.
I disagree with point #4. Subscribing to the notion that no matter how hard we work we can always be better reinforces that we are never good enough. Perpetually telling ourselves that there is always another level to reach implies that it is never okay to be where we are. The video offers us the choice between always reaching for more (what successful people do) or settling for mediocrity (losers). This mentality might be effective if the definition of success does not include emotional wellness. The never enough credo compromises wellness because it implies that every run that doesn’t result in some unfathomable pinnacle of excellence is a failure.
Not that I don’t see the point of keeping our culture rooted in perpetual goal-setting and upgrading. I get it that this philosophy drives the holy trinity of the American lifestyle: consumerism, consumption, and competition. We are never allowed to be content or satisfied with who we are and what we’ve got (which makes me wonder why the video bothered to include point #2).
I have a big problem with the suggestion that whenever someone runs by me on the street it is automatically supposed to trigger negative emotions to motivate me. But then I also acknowledge that most of the world considers running a sport, not a wellness practice, and the point of a sport is to win. Constantly telling ourselves that we can always run harder implies that we should run harder. No. There is no law that says a person who can run should be running as hard as they can. The privilege of being able to run doesn’t mean that we give up permission to allow a run to be fun, or relaxing, or meditative, which bolsters wellness. Preoccupation with success is also a preoccupation with failure since it is physically impossible to put out our best effort every moment of the day. The constant pressure to achieve championed by point #4 is just another form of stress, which compromises wellness.
Yes, please go for a Morning Run. If it ends up being a “platform for your success,” that’s great. By all means make a great start toward wellness and build momentum–point #1. Definitely reflect on your perspectives and be grateful for what you have–point #2. Define your wellness objectives to make your practice relevant–point #3. But please, please, please let go of the false belief that you are unsuccessful if you aren’t constantly striving for more or pushing harder or worse–letting yourself be beaten by The Pack. Let The Pack charge toward eternal dissatisfaction. It is not necessary to be perpetually competing with yourself or anyone else to be successful.
Finally, let your wellness practice reinforce what you believe yourself to be–point #5. But it’s not an all or nothing deal. Missing a run doesn’t mean you fail to be a fighter or a winner. It’s a practice. Anything we establish as a tool toward our success is sustainable only if we allow some balance. Work/rest. Hard/easy. Give/receive. Rabbit/Tortoise. It’s a practice.
— Dika Scopa