In my quest to vary my exercise regimen i started running about four weeks ago.

Firstly let me state that i have never been a fan of running, i always thought it wasn’t exciting enough. The treadmill at the gym did not make my opinion of running any better, i always feel like the “Biggest Loser” when I am chugging along on a treadmill with a TV on it. And to top it all off my knees would always hurt, and whenever i got tired i could just press a button and stop running – which i did often. And i feel like all the other muscle bound guys are cracking jokes about “The Biggest Loser” in the gym. Bah humbug i hate running.

So what inspired me to start running despite all the negative opinions i have of the activity? I need results and i need them quick, a quick Google search suggested running, my good friend Jess suggested running and Gary at the office has just lost 3 belt notches in 4 months from running – now those are results.

So yes when i started running it really was begrudgingly. Me being me my first run was at 5:00 am, just before dawn.

My first run was confusing, which side of the road should i run, is this pace good enough, can that dog jump that fence? I spent it trying to figure this thing out. Day 2 was a little bit better because at least i knew my route, my target was 3 km since Gary from the office was running 3 km and he lost 3 belt notches. Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, i hit the scale, i gained 1 kilo. Day 6 i went back to the Gym, I always knew running was a waste of time; it’s for the “Biggest Loser”.

I spent the next week going to the gym, but something was different. I felt a change inside which i couldn’t describe. I just started feeling too crowded and overwhelmed at the gym, i would get home and not feel satisfied about my workout.

The next day went for my 5:00 am run again and i realised what i had missed. At 5:00 am there is no one on the road, no cars, bicycles, buses or people. I’m the only person on the road and i feel like I AM the early bird. For at least 30 minutes i own these streets, i can run backwards, sideways, in the middle of the road – Its mine. It’s all mine and you suckers are busy sleeping.

When I’m running my only job is to put one foot in front of the other, my mind is free to think. There are no distractions and no excuses to stop before u get home. At first i used to think of silly things, but soon i ran out. Then i started to use that time to plan my day, then after that i just started meditating on my life and my goals.

After just four weeks it’s turned from a chore to a meditation exercise. I can no longer go 3 consecutive days without running, my mind will feel clustered. The longer the distance i run, the more i purge my mind of needless thoughts. By the time i get home i see the world differently from when i left. The problems that were bigger last night are minuscule this

I am no longer targeting 3 km and losing 3 belt notches, it’s just become about pushing myself to run an extra street or sprint to the next corner. My 3 belt notches are no longer around my waist but around my mind. This is my time to meditate, clear my mind, focus and refresh.

So, where in your life do you lose “3 belt notches”? What is it that you do that helps you to meditate and cleanse your mind? Your mind is the key to your success, shouldn’t it also lose 3 belt notches?

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