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NTENTION Talk: Giving thanks to our body through running

As we enter the season of gratitude and appreciation, let us turn inward for a moment and give our bodies the gift of movement. And what better way to do so than to stretch our legs in our gifted community with a good old fashion run?

Running is the act of opening our bodies and minds to the forces of acceleration. For many, running is a place of solitude, release, and relaxation. For others, it’s a brutal test of will power and mind over matter.

Considering that our minds can be full of stress and to do’s, which are resistance points for movement, a healthy habit of getting up daily and getting your body moving can provide neurological, physiological, and psychological relief, building blocks of a healthy lifestyle that can set your day up for greater success.

Four key components to establishing a new routine for your body to find motivation and engagement in running include condition, technique, practice, and perform.

By conditioning our minds to give thanks to our bodies capabilities through morning affirmations, you can engage your mind in enhancing positive thinking patterns and create healthier neural networks. This process of waking yourself for the appreciation of movement that your body can give to you, increases the momentum of follow through for your running goals.

As you begin your run, your mind will attempt to steal you away into the pain you feel, the breathlessness, or the anxiety about the distance you are going. Start at a slow pace and maintain positivity as part of your running technique.

Focus your mind on a positive experience you have had with exercise, and allow yourself to feel the encouragement of your body reminding itself of the rewarding outcome in which you will experience once complete.

After you settle into a rhythm, begin to focus on your breath, and allow yourself to settle into an awareness of each inhale and exhale. Allow your body to build a pace that it is comfortable and bridge a balance between breathe and movement, bringing your body into sync.

Bring your mind into balance by visualizing each step forward as an opportunity to shed your stress, and open your body up to the positive choice you made to go for a run.

Get out there and practice! We can’t possibly get it right the first time and need to allow ourselves the grace of continued attempts. Establish a healthy habit schedule and try to increase your daily output as you go. Depending on your running ability and goals, set your distance and pacing parameters accordingly. If you get stuck, grab a friend, mentor, or coach!

Lastly, allow your amazing body and mind to work together and perform. Each time you practice, you are giving your body and mind performance testing. This testing is a baseline tool to use as a measurement of your health.

Take into account how you feel emotionally, physically, and spiritually when you run. Your performance can be impacted and fueled by these life energies, and it’s up to you to self-regulate and adjust based on your needs.

This holiday season, be thankful for all that your body gives you as a vessel for life’s wonderful experiences. Honor it through the gift of movement.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone :)