Just finished Amy Poehler’s memoir, Yes Please and enjoyed it very much. She is super funny and supports women in our WOOT fashion. One of her quotes, “Good for her! Not for me.” got me thinking this morning on my run. Amy also uses lists like another Amy author I love, Amy D Hester. So here is my numbered list:
The 11 things to become an Okinawan WOOTr:
- Run happy. (Jeesh, I hope Brooks didn’t trademark that slogan). It’s true as PollyAnna as it sounds, let happiness show on your face, flow through your body and if it hurts, fake it til you make it.
- Embrace the moment. The secret to accomplish #1, is pull yourself out of the negative thoughts your mind is running through (this hurts, this is too hard, I can’t do this, I’m not a runner, I am too…, etc.) and look around. Look at your body and what it is doing for you: your feet taking another step, your arms helping propel you forward, the green trees growing around you, the smells of outside. Be thankful you can do what you are doing at that moment.
- Unchain yourself from mile/kilometer per pace bond. It has no value when you are running trails here due to the different factors: scorching sun, intense humidity, 30% inclines, 5 inches of mud. You get the picture. On our 50 mile run to Okuma, we were ecstatic with a pace of 10:20+ per mile. Would that have qualified me for Boston? Nope, but we were moving forward, relentlessly moving in the right direction.
- Support our tribe. WOOT’s founding quote is by C.S. Lewis,“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’”. Doing the thing: the setting of the alarm, the rolling out of bed when it’s still dark, the putting on the sports bra and lacing up the shoes, driving to a place to run together. Doing of the thing binds us together and makes you part of the tribe of weirdos who go to bed early so they can wake up early. Our tribe needs you, so Welcome, Friends!!
- Stop comparing yourself to other WOOTrs. If you spend your time worrying about if you’re fast enough, good enough, fill-in-the-blank enough, you stop yourself from enjoying the moment. Believe me, I have to work hard and try different tricks to keep myself from wanting to run as great as other WOOTrs.
- Try a new Adventure. Yes, capital “A”dventure. Running trails on Okinawa is like nothing you have done or seen before. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
- Be aware, there is danger. Okinawa has poisonous wildlife, in case you hadn’t heard. Be aware they are there and have a safety plan and,
- Don’t go it alone. Getting lost, tripping and falling into the jungle, twisting an ankle, encountering #7, you do not want to be out there alone. Women work well as a group. We bond, we laugh, we encourage each other. That is another of WOOT’s core tenets.
- Learn to use your GPS and learn the trails. Don’t fear technology. GPS can help you get back to where you started so take that cool gadget and spend a few hours learning how to use it. That way, when you need it, you won’t be lost. And learn the trails. Watch the turns you take, notice the big and little things around you. This falls in line with supporting our tribe. Helping to lead a group run is a great way to help WOOT out.
- Forget about the shoes. It’s not the shoes. It’s you. Running. Every week we get the question of what trail shoes we recommend. Come out and run with whatever shoes you have.
- The best way to be a good runner is to run. Be consistent. Run when you don’t want to (barring injury), run when it’s hot, run when it’s raining, run when it’s windy, run when it just really sucks. Unless you hate running and in that case, this group may not be your flavor. And that is ok too 🙂 Remember, “Good for her! Not for me.”
See you out on Trails soon!!