Finding Your Fire: Ways to Get & Stay Motivated

Miles away from the noise of everyday life in a city, we sit in the great outdoors surrounded by tall pine trees that seem to disappear into the night sky hiding behind the shadows cast from the campfire. All the work of gathering twigs, branches and larger pieces of wood was now well worth the effort as we all sat around telling stories and slowly becoming mesmerized by the flames as they seem to almost dance around the fire pit.

So what in world does a campfire have to do with running? Well think about it this way, just as the campfire needs wood or fuel to keep burning, running also requires fuel to keep a figurative fire burning inside of us so we can keep on going. Whether you’re just giving thought to running (collecting wood to burn), a beginner (the first few pieces of kindling igniting) or a long time veteran of the sport (like the hot coals at the bottom) if you don’t keep adding fuel to your fire it will eventually burn out.

Henry Ford QuoteMental preparation. To get the fire started we must first get our minds mentally prepared. Stop saying I cant, I won’t or no one believes I can. Negative thoughts produce negative results, but positive thoughts manifest positive results. Start saying I CAN, I WILL and I BELIEVE IN MYSELF. Henry Ford was quoted as saying “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t. You’re right.” Just as important as the food we feed our physical bodies with, our minds are impacted greatly by what we put into them.

12 minute mileNothing to prove. It’s a race in my own mind, a battle between what I think I can do, what I want to do and what I will do. My running journey isn’t dependent on what place I finish in a race; how far I go is not just a measurement of the miles I cover and how long it took me to get there isn’t nearly as important as what I learned about myself along the way. Once your mind is made up, you are unstoppable. Are you just starting out? Don’t worry about your speed, how far you go or how long it takes; just make sure you’re having fun and enjoy your journey! Where you want to be may not happen overnight but it will happen and today you can choose if you want to start heading in that direction.

Stoke your fire. To keep a fire hot we add more wood or move the logs around to help them burn better. To stoke our inner fire we can connect with friends, family, or co-workers who run. Look for a local running group in your area to help keep you motivated and on track. Check out a local running store, like Fleet Feet, for classes and clinics all about running. Sign up for a race (check out for more information on local races and running events). When we set a defined goal it will motivate us to get out that door and run. Run for yourself, run for others or simply run because you can. Just run because I promise you will never regret the steps you take, the paths you travel or the wonderful people you will meet along the way.

My friend and fellow runner Natalia, who I met at the SF Ultra-marathon last summer, had this to say about running – “Lacing up my shoes is not torture, but rather a treat that I wait for everyday”. Positive attitudes are highly contagious and spread like wild fire. Surround yourself with others who truly love to run because just as someone may have inspired you to take your first run, you never know who you may be inspiring with your next one.

Run and be happyBy: David Dill (SRA Ambassador and #teamSRA), a 37 year old ultra runner, 5 time marathon distance or longer finishes who loves trail running. In November, he is running his first 100 mile race at Rio Del Lago. Click here to follow David’s blog. Blog

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