“Running is real. It’s all joy and woe, hard as diamond. It makes you weary beyond comprehension, but it also makes you free.”
You give so much and don’t see immediate results. You begin to question why you’re doing this and can’t come up with answers. You want to give up.
Some say the hardest aspect of running is the act itself. I disagree—staying motivated is by far the worst part. One day you’re on top of the world and the next you’re struggling to get through the first mile. But at the end of the day, you look in the mirror while brushing your teeth and glorify those personal achievements; telling that person staring back it wasn’t that bad and tomorrow will be better.
Jesse Owens said it all in that quote. Whether you’ve just started running, or have been doing it for years, motivation is always an issue. I can’t begin to describe the physical and mental anguishes associated with pushing your body beyond its limits, and I won’t attempt to. It’s something you experience, not explain. There are two means of staying motivated that rise above the rest: books and movies. Both of which have helped me overcome hardship over the years like nothing else.
“Do you believe in miracles?” is a phrase that will echo in sports history until the end of time. The movie “Miracle” takes place during the Cold War and portrays the struggle that the U.S. hockey team faced in the 1980 Winter Olympics against the Soviet Union. Two world superpowers battling it out in a hockey rink brings a sense of national pride—along with adrenaline—which no other movie can elicit. The Soviet Union, said to have the best hockey team ever seen, was challenged by an American team consisting of college kids and other amateurs. By the end of the movie you will believe in miracles and have refreshed your motivation for running.
“The Runner’s Literary Companion”
A great read consisting of 48 short stories and excerpts ranging from murder, malice and madness, to winning and losing. Reading just one story when your motivation is on the brink of collapsing is enough to perk you up. Knowing that the hell you go through is shared by others is also a comforting thought. In this book you will read about Olympians, college students, children, prisoners, alcoholics and drug addicts, and be able to relate to each of them. You will take much away from this book, but most of all, remember why you fell in love with running.
Here’s a sentence from the first chapter, which depicts the pre-race jitters of a miler.
“The all-consuming roar, the overwhelming psych would begin then and would build up until he stood ready on this line, at once controlled and near lunacy, fearless and terrified, wishing for the relief of the start, the misery of the end.”
“Remember the Titans”
Good luck making it to the credits without getting goosebumps. The movie takes place in the early 70s during a time where segregation was still a prominent issue in Virginia. When two segregated high schools are forced to merge, the same goes for their football teams. This movie will evoke multiple emotions: anger, joy, fear and sadness. But after 113 minutes of strife and overcoming seemingly impossible challenges you will walk away with the feeling you can accomplish anything yourself.
“Running with the Buffaloes”
Sound familiar? “Running with the Buffaloes” depicts the 1998 CU men’s cross country season, including events which led up to it and the aftermath. You will read about CU students (such as yourself) who run on the same trails and roads, face the same daily problems and even eat at the same restaurants. You will read about a tragedy that occurred here in Boulder 12 years ago and how the cross country team came together to work through their despair. And no matter how long you’ve been at CU the stories will share new perspectives on Boulder one can’t find elsewhere. If this book doesn’t hit home for you then you’re probably a Nebraska fan. This is a must read for all college students who run.
Check back next Friday for more tips and tricks to staying in shape!
Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Adrian Kun at Adrian.firstname.lastname@example.org.