Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Keeping the flames burning

I've been a reasonably healthy runner for over twenty five years, and have now been happily married for an even dozen. There is a whole lot about life that I have yet to figure out, but I think I've pretty well nailed it when it comes to both my husband and my running shoes, so I thought I'd share some tips on keeping the magic alive. It's not really not my place to tell you how to manage your interpersonal relationships, so let's pretend that this post is just about running.

Love yourself first. Be really sure that you know - and deeply love - who you are. Don't torture yourself with races, running partners, or training regimens that don't fit your lifestyle, or make you feel badly. If you're brilliant at the 10k, it's okay to let yourself be brilliant at the 10k. Challenge yourself to try new things when that is what you need, not just because that's what you think is supposed to come next.

Maintain a healthy respect. Running can hurt and disappoint you, and just remember that if you're at it long enough, it probably will. It won't be the end of the world. You can heal, and if you decide to keep going you may even come out on the other end stronger for it.

Make each other laugh. Sometimes running will make you look stupid or silly. (And it often makes other people look stupid or silly!) Find ways to embrace it, enjoy it, and share it whenever you can.

Get out of your routine. When life feels unmanageable, many of us take comfort in routine, to provide us with a sense of control over things. Totally fair, but don't fool yourself. There is surely some beauty to be found on that unfamiliar path, so mix it up. Try a new route every now and then, or just go a little faster (or slower) and see how different things look. Travel when you can, and enjoy the challenges of new terrain, new food, and unfamiliarity.

The American River. This is where I grew up running
as a teenager. Can you blame a girl for falling
madly in love?
Remember why you fell in love. Go back as often as you're able to that place where you first fell in love, even if it's only in your imagination. Think back to when you first knew you were hooked, and how exhilarated you felt. Sometimes things will get tough, and you may have to remind yourself why you love it the way that you do.

Spice it up. Every once in a while, splurge on something in your favorite bright color, that fits you perfectly, and makes you feel sexy. And then go get sweaty in it.

Plan to grow old together. Sticking with each other through the rough stuff, and growing old together takes a thoughtful, gentle approach. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and the time you need to overcome them, try not to keep stepping in those same familiar potholes, and at every opportunity, look for strains and rips in the seams that might mend with a little love.


  1. Amy, this is SO good! I constantly need to be reminded of #1, especially today, so thank you.

    Please don't ever stop writing. Your blog is like food for the soul.

    1. Oh I'm so happy you got this message right when you needed it! Love that.