There are lots of ways to stay motivated to run. You can enter a race that has a fabulous medal, find a running buddy, or even pay someone to chase you. But one of my favorites, by far, is fitness jewelry:
I love this stuff! The ‘I CAN’ leather cuff at the top is from Endorphin Warrior, and each bracelet purchased supports Girls on the Run. The ‘PERSISTENT’ bangle is from Bama+Ry, custom-made for the FitBloggin conference I spoke at last year. The two on the bottom with the brightly colored wraps are from Momentum Jewelry – and of course I had the pink one custom-made for myself. I don’t know the names of the artists that made the rest, but each was purchased at a time in my life when I needed a reminder of that exact message.
And of course, fitness jewelry doesn’t have to be limited to your arms and neck – you can bling out your shoes with inspirational messages too:
The thing I love about these bangles and charms isn’t just that they are pretty (they are), or that they have a motivational saying that gives me an extra boost when I need it (they absolutely do). No, the most important thing is what they symbolize to me. Each and every piece has a story, and reminds me of a critical time in my life. I purchased the SWIM BIKE RUN charm at the expo before my first triathlon. At 240 pounds, and 42 years old, I honestly didn’t know if I’d finish the race. I was terrified of not completing the open-water swim, or falling off my bike, or getting a flat, or just being too tired to even start on the 5K run. So I bought the bracelet as an act of faith in myself. If I had a triathlete’s jewelry, then completing my first tri was actually a done deal. The bracelet ensured I would finish.
And I did. Almost dead last, in the pouring rain, crying tears of joy. The first thing I did when I got back to my bike in transition was get that bracelet out of my gear bag and put it on my wrist.
The symbols that remind you of your accomplishments, that help you stay focused and encouraged, don’t need to be jewelry, of course. They can be a finish-line photo from a particularly tough or memorable race:
You could make your collection of race bibs and t-shirts into a quilt, or display your race medals on a cool wall hanger. Whatever gives you a moment to reflect on how awesome you are. I have my most meaningful medals hanging on a hook beside the front door in my home:
A great way to create symbols in your life is to actively seek out challenges that you know will change you. For example, if you’re not sure you can do a 10K, sign up for one and train for it. You WILL be different as a result. The race itself is the party that celebrates your accomplishment, and your finisher’s medal becomes a symbol of how powerful you are.
Sometimes it’s the medal itself that calls your name – I have definitely signed up for races just because I wanted to possess the bling (ahem, Hot Chocolate 15K). If the race has a message that you love, that’s a great way to create a symbol that will always be a meaningful reminder to you. Run it with a friend or loved one to double the fun and created a shared memory.
And of course, a virtual race is always a fun way to create a symbol of your achievement. Visit www.RWCVirtualRaces.com for more details.