Refocus & Relax
Thanks for reading DAY 16 of the Run & Not Grow Weary blog series.
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Relaxing is a learned skill.
Almost everyone runner I know would love to run faster. And I imagine we all started by simply trying to force it; force your legs to turn quicker, swing your arms faster, maybe even scrunch up the muscles above your neck for a really intense “game face”. Hopefully you remembered to BREATHE!
The problem with this approach is that it’s exhausting to have your entire body tense. Muscles that don’t need to be straining (neck and shoulders) end up draining energy from the ones that do (legs). You may run faster for a little while, but you won’t get far and will probably end up in a giant knot of muscle spasms.
To be a faster runner (and to enjoy it more) it’s important to learn to continually relax even as you’re running hard.
You can’t just tell yourself,
“Hey there, stiff body, relax!”
…and then be done with it for the rest of the run.
You’ve got to keep checking in with your entire body and consciously relax certain parts (clenched fists, rising shoulders, tight jaws). At any moment you might realize a part of you is tensing up again. The more you practice checking in and staying relaxed, the easier it will be. Then you’ll find you’re running smoother, lighter, more efficiently, and…well, what do you know…faster!
Refocusing is the key.
Relaxing while running is, I believe, a learned skill. It requires the ability to continually focus and refocus and reminds me of this section of scripture in Hebrews.
“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
– Hebrews 12:1a -2b NLT
Keeping our focus on Jesus is a learned skill also. We have to keep checking in with ourselves to see if we’re relying on our own strength or focusing on what others think. When we are, we’ve got to consciously refocus on Jesus and relax. Stop trying to control everything. Stop worrying about whether or not others think you’re a good person.Run faster & move forward in life by learning to refocus and relax! pic.twitter.com/dQyVkNoVbP Click To Tweet
Why do we focus on Jesus? Because He already won the race for us. He already did the hard work that we could never have done for ourselves! That means we don’t have to focus our energy on carrying the weight of our sin. Instead, we can focus on moving forward with our new lives. We can run smoother, lighter and more efficiently toward accomplishing our purpose in this world.
When you feel worried about whether or not you’re good enough,
refocus and relax.
Every time you get distracted comparing yourself with others,
refocus and relax.
Thanks again for running through!
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