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Young runner: Sensei, I’m quitting my running group.

Wise runner: Why?

Young runner: All everyone in the group does is gossip, brag about their results, sand bag, take selfies, and complain about the weather. It’s not an inspiring environment.

Wise runner: Before you quit, can you do something for me?

Young runner: What’s that, Sensei?

Wise runner: Tonight, I want you to run with the group one more time. I have a new breathing technique for you. While you run, I want you to count every single breath you take and report back. Be precise with your counting because it’s critical to the new technique.

Young runner: I can do that.

The next day, the young runner was super excited to report his breathing numbers and learn more about the new method.

Young runner: I have the count. I did exactly what you asked.

Wise runner: I have three questions for you.

1) Did you hear any gossip?
2) Did you notice anyone taking selfies?
3) Did you hear any whining and complaining?

Young runner: I didn’t notice any of that. I was completely focused on my breathing and cadence.

Wise runner: As a runner, you can only control what you can control, and that is your MINDSET. External elements like weather or another person’s behavior are just noise. They should play no part in your enjoyment of running.

Shitty weather?

You can bitch about the extreme temperatures and pouring rains and skip your scheduled workouts. Or you can put on the appropriate gear, persevere, and embrace the experience.

Late getting off work?

You can scrap your evening run and be a sack of couch potatoes. Or lace up your running shoes and conclude the hectic day with the activity you love.

Sick before a marathon?

You can feel sorry for yourself and DNS. Or you can do everything in your power to recover, show up, race to the best of your ability, and be proud of your effort.

Your mindset and your actions hold the key to

happy, meaningful, and peaceful running.