Friday, February 29, 2008

The Inspiration Muscle

by Heather Hopkins

On the T2F website, there is a section called the Inspiration Muscle. Since our website started, I have often thought about what the inspiration muscle is. Is it just a clever play on words or is it real?

Over the last year, I have come to the conclusion that it is very real and can take many different forms. It may be reaching a personal accomplishment that encourages you to go further and try harder. It may be seeing your fellow runners achieve running goals they once believed to be unachievable. It may be a documentary that chronicles the experience of a group of non-runners as they become runners. It may be a high-five at the end of a run. It may be an extra point or words of praise from your running pals. Whatever form it takes, the result is often a renewed belief in yourself and what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.

But it is also much more. It is mind over matter. This is the biggest thing that I learned since we started our journey to become runners. While some days are effortless, others are a struggle. It is on these days that you use the inspiration muscle the most. Your thoughts are conflicted and you struggle with your body and your mind. Some days you need to tell yourself to get out there and go for it even though you don't want to. In the end, you feel such a sense of reward and you're glad you did it. You feel "inspired"!

Other days you have to convince yourself to hold back, slow it down, maybe even walk! Being patient and knowing your limits is a mental battle but it may save you from injury or help you recover from one. Sometimes you just have to be "inspired" to take things nice and easy.

In the end, you'll be happy you did.

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