👋 Hey Friends,

The idea of self-discipline has always resonated with me, and I've continuously sought out ways to cultivate discipline to become a more liberated and self-reliant individual. Discipline, often misunderstood, is the art of freeing oneself from distractions and temptations encountered in our daily lives.

One avenue through which I've explored and honed my discipline is running. For me, running is more than just a sport; it's a sanctuary where I can lose myself and find focus. Running demands discipline as it requires pushing through the initial resistance to start a run and maintaining momentum throughout. In this blog post, we'll delve into how running enhances discipline and how you can harness it as your personal space of freedom.

Personal Running Journey

I harboured a deep-seated aversion to running for most of my life. Despite excelling in academic pursuits like math, physics, and logical thinking, I struggled with sports. I would reluctantly participate in our semi-annual 3k run, never surpassing a C- grade. This reinforced my belief that I wasn't cut out for running and fueled my disdain for the activity.

My family, friends, and acquaintances echoed this sentiment, affirming that sports weren't my forte. I resigned myself to this fate until one pivotal day in 2023.

During my PE class's routine 3k run, I once again faltered. However, this time, we were tasked with running the course twice, with an eight-week training period in between to gauge improvement.

For the first time, I committed myself to weekly runs, and it transformed my life. Over eight weeks, I logged approximately 175 kilometres, diversified my training regimen and gained an appreciation for proper nutrition.

At the subsequent 3k run, my grade skyrocketed from a C- to an A-, shaving off a remarkable 3-4 minutes from my previous time. This transformative experience shattered my preconceptions; I discovered that I could indeed become a proficient runner through dedication and perseverance.

Since then, I've remained dedicated to training, progressing from struggling to run 2 kilometres without gasping for breath to completing a sub 2 1/2 hour half marathon. My journey is a testament to the notion that improvement is within reach for everyone, and I'm eager to share my insights with you.

My Time from my first half-marathon

Running Makes You FREE

My journey toward achieving my running goals was anchored in discipline and fueled by unwavering motivation. Discipline and running are inherently intertwined. Renowned marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, a multiple-time Olympic gold medalist and record holder, epitomizes the symbiotic relationship between discipline and running.

Kipchoge's unparalleled success isn't attributed to his gear, pace-setters, or sponsors; it's rooted in one fundamental principle: discipline. Discipline empowers individuals to chart their destinies through deliberate choices, transcending the sway of temptations. Kipchoge succinctly encapsulates this ethos with his profound assertion:

"Only the disciplined ones in life are free."

This stoic philosophy not only elucidates Kipchoge's path to success but also underscores his status as one of the few truly liberated individuals.

But how does running correlate with this concept?

Long-distance running, spanning hours at a stretch, isn't solely reliant on brute physical strength or fleeting bursts of speed. Success in long-distance running hinges on understanding one's body—its strengths, limitations, and nuances. The ultimate arbiter of victory or defeat isn't muscular prowess or respiratory capacity but rather, the mind.

While muscles may falter, and breath may waver, they succumb only to physiological limitations. Conversely, the mind is susceptible to temptation—the inclination to veer off course or relinquish the arduous journey altogether. Herein lies the crux of mental resilience.

If one can transcend not just physical but mental thresholds of discomfort during a run, true liberation ensues. As Kipchoge epitomizes, only those fortified by discipline—those immune to temptation—are genuinely free.

Strategies to Improve Mental Resilience

Freedom isn't a mere aspiration; it's a tangible pursuit achievable through disciplined action. Here are five strategies to fortify your mental resilience and embark on the path to freedom:

1. Positive Self-Talk: Harness the potency of positive self-talk to combat adversity. Replace self-doubt with empowering affirmations like "I am strong" or "I can do this," bolstering your resolve and fortitude.

2. Break Tasks into Smaller Goals: Confront daunting challenges by deconstructing them into manageable milestones. Celebrate each incremental achievement, fostering momentum and confidence along the journey.

3. Focus on the Present Moment: Cultivate mindfulness during runs, anchoring yourself in the present. Redirect attention to your breathing, form, and surroundings, mitigating distractions and fostering inner tranquillity.

4. Seek Support and Accountability: Lean on your community for support during trying times. Share your struggles, seek guidance, and draw strength from collective wisdom, forging bonds that transcend individual limitations.

5. Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity: View setbacks as stepping stones to growth. Every stumbling block presents an opportunity for introspection and refinement, propelling you closer to your aspirations.

At its essence, running transcends mere physical exertion; it embodies the pursuit of freedom. Believe in your capacity for growth, and relentlessly push your boundaries. My journey is a testament to the transformative power of discipline, and I invite you to embark on this liberating odyssey.

At the end of the day, running isn't about comparing yourself to others; it's about embracing your progress as a testament to your journey toward freedom. Believe in your potential, and propel yourself to the limits of your capabilities. That's the revelation I've gleaned from running, and I hope you'll glean it too.

If you have enjoyed this episode of FRIDAYS FINDINGS and you don't want to miss out on any future episodes consider subscribing for FREE.

Thanks again and I'll see you soon.

Victor (@observethecosmos)

✍️ Quote of the week

"If you want to be successfull, you must respect one rule: never lie to yourself"
―  Eliud Kipchoge

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🏃 Running = Freedom