The #WhatARunnerLooksLike Wednesday series features everyday women runners and their real thoughts on running, their accomplishments, struggles and bodies. We created this series as a way to help ordinary women runners tell their extraordinary stories. We have been inspired by the stories of other women runners and received much strength to know that we are not alone in our struggles. Some interviews are silly, some are long, some are short, and some are profound. We hope you enjoy, and if you’re interested in sharing your #WhatARunnerLooksLike story with us or know someone in your running circles that has an inspiring story to share, simply use this online form to submit your story.
This week’s #WhatARunnerLooksLike Wednesday series is Scarlett from @aspiretorun.
Women’s Running Community (WRC): What Made You Take Up Running?
Scarlett (S): Running came naturally to me, I grew up on a farm and enjoyed running in the country as it always left me feeling refreshed, invigorated and calm.
There was no opportunity to compete in the small country town, so my love for running really did come from a very intrinsic place. For me, running was and is happiness.
WRC: What Do You Love About Your Body?
S: I love that my body instantly reaps the benefits of exercise, sending reinforcing messages to my brain! I also respect the body’s ability to change and heal when nurtured appropriately.
WRC: How Has Running Helped You Appreciate Your Body?
S: At age 20 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Rheumatoid Arthritis (commonly misunderstood by others as arthritis), the condition was so severe that I could no longer move with comfort or ease, and certainly couldn’t run. It forced me to stop competing, which was very sad as I was an aspiring athlete. Now that I have regained my health, I have learnt to appreciate what my body can do. Rather than running helping me appreciate my body, appreciating my body has helped my running!
WRC: How Has Running Helped You Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, and/or
Generally In Your Life?
S: Not only does running keep me physically fit, it enhances my mental wellbeing. It’s the perfect excuse to get out and embrace nature and the elements, regardless of storms or sunshine running allows me to feel grounded and revitalised. Running helps reduce stress and enhances confidence within myself.
WRC: What Do You Think About When You’re Running?
S: I’m fortunate that I live in a very beautiful part of the world, so often I am admiring nature or the lovely houses. Long steady runs give me a chance to reflect on what is going on with my life, and make intentions moving forward. If I am doing a hard intervals session there is a lot of positive self talk happening to get me through, you need to believe in yourself if you are to improve.
WRC: What Do You Love Most About Running?
S: Largely that you can do it almost anywhere and that it’s the perfect excuse to get outdoors and explore.
WRC: What’s Your Favorite Part Of Being A Runner?
S: Running is self-empowering, it’s something I can do for myself, yet a lot of people think it’s pretty hard core so they don’t view it as being self-indulgent. Also, I get a real kick out of helping others progress their running and achieve their running goals.
WRC: How Do You Stay Motivated When You Don’t Want To Run?
S: Sometimes it is good to listen to your body, having the discipline to rest is crucial. If I am just being plain lazy rather than needing some rest, having a goal written down with a set time frame is always helpful. If you have that, then you should have a plan on how you are going to achieve it, and if the plan says run, you run!
WRC: Most Memorable Race Or Running Accomplishment?
S: At 19 years old I raced my first seeded running event, the City to Surf 12km. Despite nearly missing the start because I was overwhelmed by the size of the event and had no idea what I was meant to be doing, I ran a smart and fast race, securing a place on the podium against a strong field. I felt so strong up those hills!
WRC: What Is Your Best Tip Or Advice For A Newbie Runner?
S: Have the confidence to get started, if you’re not sure how to get going, or if you are finding it difficult to get motivated then find a recreational running group. I always use swimming as an example, if you have never swum before then you would look for a coach who would teach you technique, write a program, teach you drills etc…. well it’s the same for running, most people just don’t realise that there is a lot more to running than simply hitting the pavement for any given time.
WRC: What’s Your Favorite Affirmation?
S: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin
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