A lot of people ask about the sacrifices you have to make if you want to pursue a sport seriously. They frequently say, ‘You must have to give up so much for your running’. It is believed you have to sacrifice time with your friends, time with family, your other interests, and more noticeable among the younger generation, your social life. But, this just isn’t the case. There is only so much training you can do, and it can always be fitted in around other things. Also, the amount you sacrifice is up to you. If I want to make time to do other things around running, I will. I wouldn’t want to forgo seeing my family or my close friends because of training. I can always fit in time to see them, I may just have to adjust when/where I do my training in order to make time for all my plans.
The biggest thing most people fear when committing to a sport is sacrificing their social life. Most importantly, the drinking and the clubbing. But, to be honest, to me, this isn’t a sacrifice. I have so many people asking me if I wish I didn’t have training to do, so I could go clubbing and not worry about being tired in the morning. Quite frankly, I don’t. Even if I didn’t run, I still wouldn’t go clubbing. It just isn’t for me. I’ve never been someone to enjoy going out, I don’t know if that is because I have always run and always had training to do the next day, so I never went in full force trying to enjoy it, or because it just genuinely isn’t my idea of fun. I would much rather have a cozy movie night in, and conveniently this lends itself towards training a lot more.
Additionally, running is something I love, therefore not being able to go out clubbing every week isn’t something I miss. It’s not a sacrifice, it’s a choice I have made. I always tell people, if I wanted to go clubbing, I would. As bizarre as it may sound to some people, running is something that makes me happy, not clubbing, so I make running my priority. No one is forcing me not to go out, no one is telling me I can’t go out and enjoy myself because it will detriment my training, it is completely a choice I have made myself. If I wanted to go out, I would.
I am also a very strong-minded individual and won’t do something I don’t want to do. Whilst some people may believe I also sacrifice drinking for running, they couldn’t be more wrong. I have never really been a proper drinker, and I stopped drinking before I decided running was something I wanted to pursue seriously. I have never once felt as though I’m missing out. I would always much rather be running, so if I don’t do something in order to run, it’s more of a joy than a sacrifice. If I wanted to drink every now and then, I would, it wouldn’t destroy my running career. It is just all about balance.
Another common misconception about dedicating yourself to a sport, is the food you have to give up. ‘Oh, I couldn’t be a runner, I couldn’t eat healthily all the time’. Whilst I believe it is important to have a healthy diet the majority of the time, I still allow myself treats every now and then. I also listen to my body when it is craving different foods and give it what it wants. Running isn’t torture, I am allowed to eat what I want, just in moderation, the same as every other person in the world. There are no foods you ‘can’t have’ as a runner. We are still human, we can eat everything, just in moderation.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!