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It seems there are two categories of people: those who love running and those who don’t. I’m in the latter.

Running for me takes soooo much discipline. Just a few minutes into the run I lose my breath, I get bored, I come up with 136 ideas for more exciting things to do: cleaning the basement, scrubbing the baseboards in the front hall, going through photos on my phone. Anything other than running.

Recently I decided to give it another try. The weather has been amazing in September and I had no excuse. Not that I scrubbed those baseboards.

So I’ve been running almost every day. As a life coach, I know that starting small usually works best so I started with 10-15 minutes in a nearby park.

Here are 5 things that help me get motivated:

1. Seeing my husband run. Yes, I can be competitive.

2. Making sure I have something fun to listen to: a good audiobook or a fun podcast work for me best. “Wait wait… don’t tell me” is one of my favorites. Many people like high-energy music.

3. Coming up with a small reward afterwards: a special cup of tea or a nice lunch with a friend work really well.

4. Remembering the big why: a couple of years my doctor discovered my heart isn’t strong enough for my age and suggested I strengthen it with running or cycling.

5. Experiencing “the runner’s high” when endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, Also, daily exposure to sun boosts serotonin levels. Both endorphins and serotonin are “happy hormones”. Yay!

It’s been a few weeks now and running still doesn’t seem natural to me. But I keep at it. This morning, as I was running through the park, soaking up the end-of-summer sun, I found a shiny chestnut on my path. It’s my little reward for today. And perhaps my talisman that will accompany me on my future many runs….

Have you struggled with running or other forms of exercise? What works for YOU? Please share your wins and challenges.

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