Lily Trotters ambassador Karen Howe is a marathon runner, professional, wife, and mom. Lucky us! She agreed to share how she maintains her status as an #unstoppable woman.
Unstoppable sounds so elite, doesn’t it? Let’s be clear: unstoppable should not be confused with the concept of perfection. I challenge you to find even one person who reaches perfection. Impossible. Why? It doesn’t exist! Quite frankly I’m not striving for perfection – shoot, some days I am just aiming to get out the door with my shoes on the correct feet. To me, being unstoppable is just trying to be the best version of me – for my family, for my friends for my co-workers. Running has been the one tool that has helped me be unstoppable in life.
Running has taught me patience
Admittedly, I am impatient by nature. Sorry (not-sorry) If I want something done I go out and do it. That worked for most of my life…and then I had kids. Some days we have no choice but to be patient – with work, with our family or life in general. Running is my healthy outlet to work through the urge to react before thinking. You really can’t rush the progress of a run. It’s that time on my feet that forces me to hit that reset button. A stress relieving run equates to transferable patience that empowers me to be unstoppable.
Running has helped me cope with failure
This may not be comforting, but everyone has experienced failure on some level. To be unstoppable you must be willing to risk and to (gasp) fail. Running has been a great coping mechanism for me. When I lost my job – I went out for a run to clear my mind. When I failed an exam – I went out for a run to work through the anger of working so hard and not achieving my goal. Running is my therapy on those bad days. It clears my mind and allows me to focus on what may have gone wrong and how I'll beg back on track to unstoppable.
Running has given me purpose
Have you ever found yourself floundering? In life, in your career or even relationships? I kicked off my 20s with a college degree, but a career path I didn’t want to follow. Not saying I was unhappy but, with a little hindsight, I can see I was living through other people’s timelines and goals. Thankfully, I managed to navigate this decade and ended my floundering with a bucket list item: the classic “I want to run a marathon.” (I admit, I tricked my husband into running it with me.) By the end of the marathon I somehow forgot the last 6.2 miles of complete misery while my husband, to this day, assures me he will never forget. 21 marathons later, I have found that setting running goals helps me stay focused instead of trying to please others - or worse: “boil the ocean” but never really accomplish anything. Those running goals are mine and only mine; no one can take them away and in order to achieve them, I am the one that has to do the work. Achieving a goal is never done by accident – I find purpose in each goal. There’s a level of infectious pride and confidence that comes with doing the work and achieving the goals. This transfers to my everyday life. Running with purpose has paved the path to being unstoppable.
Running has given me life-long friends
“Run Squad” seems to be a term that is thrown around a lot lately. Have you ever noticed the term is never used to represent a wimpy group? That is by design – we don’t join groups to whine about problems or wallow in self-doubt – we join them to feel empowered, and to feed off the energy of others. Your run squad is that group (or individual) who takes you on the good days and lifts you up on the bad days. Pull from the positive energy of a run squad. It’s those same friends that propel you forward into an unstoppable mode.
The road to becoming unstoppable is not without its bumps – but go on …get out there – start being #unstoppable
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