I use to think running was an awful and torturous form of exercise. I thought of running in terms of physical fitness and secretly envied the people that run miles on end in all weather conditions at any time of day. It wasn’t until recently that I came to realize my ability to run is as mental as it is physical. Whether your goal is to run a marathon or to simply stay fit your commitment to running is the key to your success.

I started running to document the experience of incorporating a new exercise into my life. My journey began following a 10K training program and my approach was purely fitness based. Because I work out regularly I thought this new program would be a relatively easy accomplishment. Rude awakening! This is how I felt after my first running experience. “I Did It! 37 degrees and raining. The first two and last two minutes were brutal. I made myself go outside and run near my house for some hills. I honesty hated every minute of it! I despise not being good at something; especially an exercise.”

I can’t lie … I got frustrated quickly and quit my running routine. It was not until a few months later, after meeting with Aina Williams (a marvelous athlete, coach and trainer) that a spark was reignited in my mission to run. She is a very inspiring woman and natural athlete. She believes in pushing your body to its limits but more importantly she believes in your ability to achieve personal fitness goals.  When I told her about my declining running experiment, her first response was, “Let me guess, you don’t like it because you aren’t good at it?” Shoot, she hit the nail right on the head!  Aina was right, I had to keep running and push myself through being uncomfortable with a new exercise. Only when I became good at it could I fairly decide if running was for me or not.

Somewhere along the way I realized running or any type of exercise is a balance between physical fitness, personal decision, dedication and perseverance. The runners that use to intimidate me, make the choice to run, set the goal and try an accomplish it. I’ve learned I can run and actually enjoy it. Physically, I may not always be excited about it, and my mind may still try and talk me out it but I can choose to overcome that. Aina taught me that running, like anything, requires hard work. The pay off is immense but the journey is not as easy as you want it to be.

Aina teaches all over Seattle. She also works as a private personal training. If you are looking for a little (or a lot!) of motivation to get you ready for summer I couldn’t recommend her more. She can be contacted directly at coachaina@gmail.com.