Embrace the Journey: A Runner’s Reflection

Embrace the Journey: A Runner’s Reflection

Embrace the Journey: A Runner’s Reflection

Written by Miller Hollstein

Yesterday’s long run offered a surprising and valuable lesson. 

The run began as most do; a few miles in, my body accepted the task at hand and I settled into the rhythm of the trot. I felt smooth and focused, cruising towards the finish line. 

But as the miles ticked by, the momentum began to fade. I felt myself slipping. 

Justifying it as “monitoring my pace” and “checking my heart rate,” I noticed myself peeking at my watch more frequently, hoping the remaining miles would magically disappear.

The constant checking was my mind's way of dealing with the discomfort and fatigue that inevitably accompany a long run. And with each disheartening glance, I felt doubt growing in the recesses of my mind.

The unrelenting chatter in my head was LOUD. It was pleading with me to just. be. done. But a surge of clarity and resilience exposed the faulty lies I was hearing.

With over 2 miles remaining, I decided it was my turn to engage the seductress. In the grand scheme of things, the 20 minutes remaining was nothing. But those final miles always seem the longest when your mind is fixated on the end, rather than the journey.

The mind, when faced with physical challenges, often looks for shortcuts and distractions to avoid the present moment's discomfort. 

But, instead of fixating on the destination, I chose to silence this illusion and live step by step; to be present and simply exist in the moment. 

And, almost instantly, everything changed.

I concentrated on my breathing, the rhythm of my steps, and the feeling of the ground beneath my feet. Despite the mental and physical fatigue from the miles I’d already logged, I felt a profound sense of calm and peace.

At the point where I felt mentally weakest, this was a reminder to enjoy the process. 

All of the motivational carrots I’d dangled in front of myself throughout the run had disappeared. The only thing left was to just be—and, surprisingly, my last mile turned out to be my fastest.

This practice of being present—really being where you are—requires tuning out the mental noise and focusing on the here and now. 

But, conquering the chattering mind is no easy feat. It requires practice and patience. The mind loves to dwell on the past and worry about the future, rarely settling into the present. 

Yet, it's in the present moment where we find true peace and clarity. Running becomes a moving meditation, a space where you can practice the art of living.

In those final moments, I discovered that the true reward of running isn't always reaching the finish line but learning to embrace the journey along the way. 

When we stop fixating on the end goal and start appreciating each step, we find strength and satisfaction we never knew we had. 

Running, like life, is about being fully present in each moment, overcoming the mental chatter, and finding joy in the moment.

Follow Miller Hollstein

Back to blog