Learn to be your own cheerleader

The Gazelle Sports Activator Blog Series is written by a group of passionate individuals, willing and eager to share their personal stories of trial and triumph. Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle is filled with ups and downs, lessons learned, successes and failures. Get to know them as they share their journeys—you might learn something new!

By Eva Reiter

In today’s post, I’d like to talk a little about the impact of using positive language during a run.

When I began my distance running journey in 2012, and even now as I continue to grow in my training, I’ve learned something that can benefit many of us: when it comes to running, positive self-talk is crucial for success! I recently ran the annual LMFCU Bridge Run 10mile race in Grand Rapids with a long-time friend and running buddy, Amanda. Around the seven-mile mark, we started to feel the impact of the warm weather and our quicker pace during the last few miles.

So, we did something that shows just how useful of a tool positive self-talk can be during a rough run: we began to concentrate on positives in order to make the run more tolerable. We started by talking about all the people we run for (i.e., in their honor, because of the positive impact they’ve had in our lives, etc.) and ended up transitioning into all the times we had survived three-mile runs even when the cards were stacked against us. Some examples included when we had run in single-digit temperatures and when we completed a run after long shifts at work. I’m sure everyone around us thought we were totally nuts, but all this goodness worked! The last three miles of the race were not a PR for either of us, but we did survive it.

The moral of this story is that positive self-talk is a free and easy way of enhancing your running adventures. We all have tough runs, but when it comes down to it, the way we cope with the rough moments are a true testament to our emotional and physical endurance. Keep in mind, as well, that positive talk isn’t just something you should do for yourself. If you run with a partner or group, encouraging others during the race and celebrating their participation is huge.

So what’s my challenge to you? Start bringing intention to your self-talk practice and think about how your language can impact not only your performance, but the performance of those around you as well. What can you do to pump yourself, and those around you, up? Positive energy is infectious, so spread the love and enjoy the results!

My name is Eva and I will be one of your friendly neighborhood Gazelle Sports Activators for roughly the next year. When I’m not marauding through the streets of Grand Rapids in obnoxiously bright high-vis gear that could melt the retinas of Medusa herself, I’m a just a “normal” young professional and a profoundly proud mom of a goofy dog named Howard. I’m excited to share some of my experiences with you over the next few months and hopefully provide some form of inspiration. If nothing else, I hope to at least leave you with a laugh or two. Because who doesn’t need a laugh?!


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