A woman runner bends down to tie her shoe laces before starting on a run

Like everything else in 2020, the fall racing season looked nothing like we had anticipated. No race day morning routines, no closed streets filled with cheering spectators and funny motivational signs, no standing in mile-long Porta John lines (okay, maybe we that’s one we didn’t miss!), and no finish line we can look forward to crossing. However, I’d argue all of 2020 has felt a bit like running a long hard race.

If 2020 was a marathon, this is the time you would really start to hurt. You’re over halfway, the end isn’t in sight quite yet, your body is tired, and your mind is starting to wander. The course is extremely unpredictable, with an unexpected hill around every corner. The weather is less than ideal – cold, windy, and rainy. These elements are out of your control except your attitude and how you decide to finish the race.

Staying motivated in this ever-changing and unpredictable time in our world is very difficult. With no definitive finish in sight, it’s important to focus on taking everything one step and day at a time. It’s also critical to focus on what you can control instead of dwelling on what you can’t.

One of the things you can control right now is committing to moving your body and getting active every day. Establishing and incorporating a fitness routine into your life in some capacity can really benefit your physical and mental well-being. Maybe your routine looks a little different this year, but that’s okay! Consider this strange time as an opportunity to try something new.

For me, instead of running solo, I’ve been getting outside of my comfort zone and working out in socially-distance group fitness classes. I normally crave my alone time on my runs, but since we have had so much alone time, I find myself recharged and refreshed after being in a workout class with other people, even if they are six feet away!

Looking forward to my 45-minute workout class every day has become a new routine in my life that keeps me grounded and has challenged me in new ways physically and mentally. I can tell that I’m getting stronger and gaining confidence in areas that used to be my weak links (hello, anything involving upper-body and social!).

This race is a tough one for us all, but keep going, don’t quit, adapt, focus on the things you can control, and stay moving! Finish the race strong and courageous

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