I went for a run in my new neighborhood this morning and boy did I get crushed by some of the hills. I’m not used to running hills, and I don’t particularly like them, but something about my aversion to them this morning made me realize that I need to flip my attitude. I want you to join me.
Hills are great opportunities, though many of us avoid them at all costs. The problem is that we look at the hill as too big for us. When we start to climb, we get a wave of pre-exhaustion, which more often than not, happens to be self-induced. It’s not that the hill is too hard or that we are too tired, it’s that we psyche ourselves out. We lose belief. We forget that we are in fact strong, that we do in fact have perseverance and endurance, and that life is lived in the present, not the future.
Whether your hill is physical like mine was this morning or symbolic, the hills in your life aren’t obstacles put in your way to break you down. No, I believe that hills are there to train and change you for the better. The funny thing about hills is that they always look longer than they actually are when you are running up them. This morning, mid-way up this huge one, I felt like it would never end. I got down on myself, frustrated, and my body started hurting. I was focusing on the end rather than staying in the present of my climb. Once I was able to flip my perspective and simply focus on each step, the hill was over in no time.
Reflection of the Weekend:
What hills are you climbing right now in your life? Do you let yourself stay in the present of each step that you climb or do you get overwhelmed with how much further you have to go from your current point of perspective?
Challenge of the Weekend:
Hill repeats! You know it! I don’t care if you’re a runner or a walker, or neither, I want you to get outside this weekend a find a hill. Make it a big one.
Do a 10-20 minute jogging or walking warm-up and then do 10x 90 second repeats up the hill. On the odd numbers, go at a Zone 3 heart rate effort, which is about 80% effort. On the even numbers, make it Zone 4-5, above 90%. Once you climb for 2 minutes, walk easy down the hill and then recover for 60 seconds at the bottom before starting your next one.
Stop getting intimidated or bullied by the hills in your life. They are there for a reason and each time you climb, you become better, stronger, more confident. As my pro triathlete friend Kelly Fillnow always reminds me before a hilly half-marathon, “what goes up must come down.”