Change your Mind and Change your Life

A couple of years ago I had a conversation with a customer about a new product that she was using to monitor her activity, sleep and well-being. What struck me about our conversation was that she was very passionate about how it had changed her life. This got me to thinking about all of the things that have come along and changed all of our running lives. I began my running career in the mid 90's when cotton was king, heart rate monitors were available but not prevalent and you timed your run with a good old Timex watch. I don't remember when Fuel Belt invented the running belt but it seemed like a seamless junction between holding a 500ml bottle of water in my hand and slinging over a liter of water around my waist; definitely more efficient but not life changing. I remember buying my first pair of running specific tights and while it was exciting to look more like a real runner and nice that they made running more comfortable, they didn't change my life. Garmin GPS running watches while not cheap saved a lot of gas money by eliminating the need to hop in the car and drive what I just ran; a time and money saver for sure, a contender for improving life but not as epic as life changing. There have been so many things from advancements in nutrition to clothing to timing races and beyond that I was finding it hard to pick the "one" life changing item, moment or thought so I decided to go right back to the beginning. In the beginning I hated running. Running was a gym class, a requirement to run a set distance as fast as you could. Running meant painful lungs, painful feet and painful muscles. Running meant falling behind the faster guys and girls and coming up short. Fast forward to a 1995 conversation with a friend who was training another friend to run a marathon which went something like this; "Tell me about this marathon thing." "It's 42 kilometers and can take between four and four and half hours." "How do you run that long?" "Once you can run for an hour comfortably you slow your pace a bit and you can run for two hours. If you can run for two hours, you can run for three and if you can run for three you can run for four." Bam! That is the statement that was a life changer for me. If you can run for two you can run for three and if you can run for three you can run for four!!! That philosophy gave me a hobby which shaped a lifestyle which spun off into a career which continues to be a cherished pass time. A simple change of perspective about a once despised activity had been my life changer and many running miles later I'm still grateful every day.

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