I wanted to share something that happened to me a few years back, where I found myself in a bit of a predicament at the beginning of the 2022 running season.

I had already known which races I wanted to do for a while but couldn’t bring myself to sign up. That’s because there was something I wasn’t feeling good about. Personally, I think it’s so important to align and then act, at least when I can. It’s something I’ve always tried to practice, and I’m still working on it to this day! It doesn’t come easily because, if I’m being honest, this feeling of being “out of alignment” with the races I wanted to do probably lasted a few weeks before I took the moment to acknowledge it. That’s why I wasn’t signing up, even though I had planned to.

Finally, one week, I sat down and took a moment to think about why I wasn’t feeling good about the races anymore. And then, this is the important part, I took out my notebook and pen, and I wrote down two very important things:

1. How I wanted to feel about the race

2. how I wanted to think about the race.  

And doing that created a huge shift for me.

Sometimes these shifts take time. This shift was actually pretty fast because I took that moment to align. This is stuff I know; when you’re feeling bad about something, it’s important to acknowledge it. I wasn’t feeling that bad, but it just wasn’t where I wanted to be feeling.

Take a moment to acknowledge when you’re not feeling great, to acknowledge why, and then think about how you want to be thinking about a situation. That’s such a guidepost for me, and I hope it is for everybody. Our feelings are so important, so we shouldn’t just go through the motions, but instead, take a moment to reflect on this misalignment.

And I’m obviously not perfect!

It took me a few weeks to get there, but I did. You can’t beat yourself up about not doing things as soon as you should because constantly learning, and the fact that I did take the moment and sat myself down was huge. Who cares if it took a few weeks?

I did it. I felt better. I got that shift, and I was able to sign up for the races. And most importantly, as soon as I did that, I noticed that all my runs felt a little bit lighter. I was able to get that joy feeling, especially going uphill or sending a downhill. Like running, it instantly became more fun because I was back in alignment with how I wanted to feel about racing and running.

Here’s my takeaway for you: it’s essential to listen to our inner voice and acknowledge when something isn’t quite right. Taking the time to realign ourselves with our true desires and goals can lead to profound shifts and a renewed sense of joy. While it may take time to get there, the important thing is that we make the effort and take the necessary steps towards alignment. So, let’s remember to be patient with ourselves, embrace the learning process, and prioritize our well-being and authenticity in our journey as runners and individuals.

Happy running!

– Sandi Nypaver