for the past few weeks, my husband & i have been training for our very first 5k! prior to this, we didn't really run at all, so running is new to both of us. during this learning experience, i've come to realize that running is actually a lot like marriage! principles i am learning in running, i can apply to my marriage and vice versa. not all, but most! :) so i'd like to share 6 ways that running is like marriage.
o1 | by nature, it has to be intentional. if you're not intentional about it, then it just won't happen. running and marriage both take time, energy, and commitment. you can't just expect it to happen on it's own, it takes work.
o2 | it's gonna get harder before it gets better. or "it doesn't get easier, you get better." life is hard. running is hard. marriage is hard. but as you continue and grow, you learn how to push yourself. you learn what you should & shouldn't do, what you can & can't handle, and you get better at learning to work through the obstacles that you'll face. it will always be hard, but you get better at handling it.
o3 | you can't expect to be in the same exact place as someone else. because i've been running with my husband, this one is especially prevalent to me. both spouses don't have the same life skills or the same running skills. i won't always excel where my husband does and vice versa. i shouldn't be discouraged if he excels at something that i don't. men are built differently than women and he can run at a faster pace than me - and that's okay! i am better at organization and he is better at being rational - and that's okay! it takes different skill levels to make the world go 'round!
o4 | you can't compare yourself to others. this goes along with #3. where i'm at in running is a beginner level. i shouldn't compare what i'm doing to runners that have been running for years because we are on two different pages. there will always be someone better, someone faster, someone with different goals. i need to focus on where i'm at. the same is true with marriage! there will always be a couple at the next stage of life, that has more children, that travels more, etc. but my marriage is where it's at and that's what i need to focus on. we have our own goals for our marriage and we shouldn't compare our marriage to someone else's who has different goals.
o5 | it takes time. the reason i never liked running before, is that i would try to sprint and get tired out way too quickly. you can't run long distances like that. the couch 2 5k program was perfect in training us to slowly build endurance and strength. if we try to do too much too fast we will overwhelm ourselves and burn ourselves out. when it comes to marriage - this is so important. i would love to pay off my student loans, move into a bigger house, start having kids, etc. all this year. but that doesn't make sense. we have only been married for one year and we think it is so important to build a strong foundation before overwhelming ourselves with so many commitments.
o6 | you can always do more. there have been a few times during training that i've felt like i can't jog another step before stopping to walk. but i have pushed myself to continue jogging until my app alerts me to switch to walking. when you feel like you can't keep going, there's a few more steps in you. (of course, if you are feeling pain - you will want to stop to avoid injury. it's important to know how far you can push your body & not to push it too much) you may be loving your husband well, but you can always do a little more just to show him your love in a tangible form! surprise him! write him a letter and stick it under his pillow! take him out to his favorite restaurant (that you never want to go to) just because! plan a date that includes what he loves to do! it's the little things that make the difference!
do you compare running to other areas of your life?