Two magic words for running (and life)

Our whole family went out for a run early yesterday morning.  What a treat to all run together at an easy, conversational pace!  This last month has been a “cut-back” month for me, something I needed both mentally and physically.

The care-free country runs on vacation helped me to fall in love with running all over again. Now that my shin is happy again, I’m excited to pick up the mileage and intensity, but I don’t want to lose the joy of running.

I realized on our run this weekend that much of running (and life) comes down to my attitude.  We had a great run because I could say I “get to” run with the whole family.  Near the end of a training plan, that often changes.  I find myself saying I “have to” run 10 miles tomorrow, or I “have to” do a tempo run today.

I’m learning that “HAVE to” leads to attitude (and negativity).

“GET to” leads to gratitude.

It struck me how many other areas of my life could benefit from this simple word replacement.

I don’t have to cook dinner for my family, I get to provide healthy meals and have access to fresh foods.

I don’t have to wake up early, I get to savor quiet downtime or a workout before everyone else gets up.

I don’t have to stay home with my daughter, I get to savor this time and enjoy her every discovery.

I don’t have to teach spinning, I get to motivate others on their fitness journey.

I don’t have to be busy all the time, I get to choose how to spend my free time.

I don’t have to do and be all things for all people, I get to use my time and talents to love those around me and seek the peace of my city.

I don’t have to stress about our future, I get to enjoy today and can trust that everything will come together in time.

And tomorrow, I don’t have to get up early to squeeze in a run.  I get to energize my body, mind and spirit!

Do you ever feel like you have to work out , or have to run? Are there other areas of your life that can benefit from a change of perspective from “have to” to “get to”?


92 thoughts on “Two magic words for running (and life)

  1. Great post! I often find myself saying: ‘I have to run,’ but then my husband always corrects me and tells me: ‘You may run!’ And he really is right, even though I don’t want to admit it.

  2. Great attitude adjustment! I think that since I was injured for so long last summer, I am still very much in the appreciation phase of running. I recognize that each run is a gift. Now, if I could work on my attitude about grocery shopping, house cleaning, etc….
    misszippy recently posted..Monday mixMy Profile

  3. I just love your attitude because it speaks so much truth! Running, health, freedom are all privileges we have. I think if more adopted your mindset, we’d have a lot more happy healthy people out there.

  4. Very nice thoughts…I “get to” comment on your blog b/c I love it….I actually am trying to think this way more lately…and when it comes to running (after being hurt and not able to) I do thank God every day “I GET TO” run again.

    (even if slow…ha!)

  5. I almost never feel “have to” about running, but I almost always feel like that about weight training. I will try an attitude adjustment with that tomorrow when it rolls around again. :^)
    Terzah recently posted..Details, Details!My Profile

  6. So important to think this way! As I cooked dinner last night I thinking the same thing about how much I enjoyed the process of making new foods for my family and seeing them eat healthy. Running/workouts are me time that I get to do without worrying about anything else 🙂
    Jen recently posted..Weekly Goals and Not Getting OverwhelmedMy Profile

  7. This was exactly what I needed today! I have a marathon in 40 days, kids starting school tomorrow and our Disneyland trip to get everything ready for. I have been feeling very overwhelmed, but everything seems so much easier with GET TO in front of it.
    I get to train for and run a marathon.
    I get to help my kids start a new school year.
    I get to take my whole family to Disneyland!
    So much better- thank you!
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  8. these two words really make a difference! thanks for pointing that out.

    don’t you love the family run?? it’s one of my favorites. it makes everything seem fun and happy 😉

    excited for my upcoming virtual race!!
    runner26 recently posted..In the ClubMy Profile

  9. Such a great post and a great point that you make. Shows how a positive attitude makes all the difference. When we were in Vermont last week I was trying to work out how my husband and I would both train for triathlons with our kids in tow. Our best day was when we went to the beach, took turns swimming while the kids played in the water, then got the kids to ride their bikes while we ran. Sure, we had to turn around a little earlier than planned, but we got in a decent workout and there was no complaining! Sometimes that’s all that matters.
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  10. Thanks! Great point. We all need the reminder and really changes my attitude, as well! We are lucky. I am grateful.

  11. Awesome post! It sure hit home with me. I definitely find myself saying “have to” a lot, which definitely puts a negative spin on things. It is amazing how a different spin on just a few words can make such a big difference in overall attitude and mindset!

  12. Oh Laura- I LOVE THIS!!!!! What a difference a simple word replacement or outlook can make. Hugs friend. We GET to be the best moms we can each and every day to our little ones. I need to remind myself of this. Thanks for the perspective. Hope your shin keeps feeling better lady.
    STUFT Mama recently posted..I’ve Got Nothing but OvatineMy Profile

  13. Laura, this is a great post, and a great attitude. I feel like most of the time I “get to” but it’s when the “have to” overshadows the “get to” that it stops being fun. My running was a little bit “have to” for the past few weeks and I am happy to get over that attitude and start getting to get out there and enjoy it!
    Travel Spot recently posted..So L.A. and a GiveawayMy Profile

  14. Sometimes I feel like I “have” to run as in I need to run or I’m going to go insane from pent up energy. Only occasionally do I feel like I “have” to run as in it seems like a burden or a chore. Right now, after a couple of days of inactivity, I’m definitely feeling the former kind of “have” to and am just about to go lace up my shoes.
    Raquelita recently posted..Thursday Threads: First Day of ClassMy Profile

  15. I love this. All too often I drag myself through a workout. It is only at the end that I realize how lucky I am to be fit, healthy, and have the time and resources to workout.

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  18. I know that I have already read and commented on this post, but so much as happened since August. I used to say all of the time “I have to run.” Every weekend and after work I had to run. Now that I had running taken away from me for a while my entire mind set has changed. Now I say “I get to run.” I never say “I have to run” anymore. It truly is a gift to be able to lace up our running shoes and just run. Thanks for listing this as one of your favorite blog posts. It was a post that was well worth the second read!
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  21. Such a great perspective! About a year ago I began running in order to get my weight and health is better shape. I started with kind of a miserable outlook on things. I felt I had to force myself to run like a kid has to force down dreaded veggies at dinner. I remember calling my sister ecstatic a few months later. I’d woken that morning and been excited to run, happy and grateful that I had the chance to go for a jog that morning. I don’t know what clicked, but I’ve kept that attitude and it’s made all the difference. We are a lot more priveleged than we think most days!
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  22. I might have to use this to convince myself that cleaning the house is a blessing. Really, all the little things we do are, in a way. I’m healthy, I live in my own house, I’m mobile, etc. It’s important to be grateful. Enjoy your SITS day!
    Suzanne recently posted..The Cascading Waterfalls of PlitviceMy Profile

  23. that is definitely a great attitude to have, with running and with life in general!

    my personal trick for running when I’m not in the mood is to compromise and tell myself that if I’m still REALLY not feeling it after about 15 minutes, I can turn back and at least I will have done something for the day. Of course by the time I’m 15 minutes in, I rarely still feel like I can’t do it! Works great 🙂
    Mo @ The Baby Is Fine recently posted..The JuggernautMy Profile

  24. This perspective is brilliant. Seriously. I love the positiveness about the “get to” versus the “have to” aspects of it. I think I have to steal the main idea behind this post for my blog, only identifying it back to catering, food and beverages, and event planning.

    So, what a wonderful trip to your blog! I “got to” meet you and see something helpful from your fresh perspective. Awesome! And speaking of awesome… How awesome is it that you’ve recently had your SITS Day? Now that’s special. I hope it was great.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family…
    and may you have some of the best runs of your life in 2013!

    Happy Belated SITS Day!
    Carlo/Carlo At Your Service Productions recently posted..Party Hosts Guide: How To Serve Food Everyone Will LikeMy Profile

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