Yesterday, I went out for a run and before I began, I did the usual and went to turn on my “map my run” app. The app was acting funny and it wouldn’t open on my phone. I went out for my run, despite the fact that I couldn’t track my time. While I was running, I hit the mile mark and wondered how fast I was going. Did I beat my time from my last run? Was I running slower today? Was I running faster? Then I asked myself, why do I always have to keep track?
I love setting goals, challenging myself and improving, but isn’t it o.k, to run for the sake of running? I was so fixated and frustrated on the fact that I couldn’t keep track, that I somehow lost sight of the process of my run; the fresh, crisp air, the sound of my breath, the wind hitting my face, and the beauty that surrounded me.
Then, it hit me. Perhaps my app wasn’t meant to work. Perhaps, I needed to feel this frustration inside, and become conscious of wh I was feeling so frustrated. I have always loved the entire process of running. The run itself always brings me mental clarity. However, my frustration taught me that I was getting far too caught up in numbers.
I’ve always considered myself terrible at math. I avoid using math when possible, and I always rely on my trusty calculator when needed. It was this pivotal moment, during my run, that I came to the realization, I wasn’t avoiding math as much as I thought I was. I am adding and subtracting on a daily basis and keeping track of numbers, and, I don’t work in finance! The numbers that I am bombarded with are on a screen that I use, every single day; my phone screen! Needless to say, the numbers that I keep track of, are the distance and time of my runs, the stats on my blog, the followers on my Instagram, and the likes on a post. For others, it may be the number on the scale, the calorie intake for the day, or the passing days. In other words, we are all kind of keeping track of numbers, and as a result, we forget the process. I was forgetting the clarity I felt during a run, the creativity and thought put into a blog post, and the moments I captured photos, before I felt compelled to post them, because of numbers!
About twenty minutes into my run (or so I thought), It felt good not doing the math and worrying about the time, distance and numbers. It just felt good to run. So, next time you might be keeping track of numbers in your life, give your brain a mental math break, and just enjoy the process. Unless you work in finance, then take a break after work 😉