You Can’t Run From the Law

running helped felix get his dream job as a police officer

running helped felix get his dream job as a police officerThey call it the long arm of the law because it will find criminals wherever they are, but in the real world it is a bit more practical to be quick on your feet if you want to apprehend the bad guys, and it turns out that is what some people are training for.

I heard a story recently about a man who became a police officer. You might not know exactly what is involved in becoming a police officer but a strenuous fitness test including running  is an important part of it. Felix, the man in question, had always wanted to be involved in the criminal justice system since he was young and an officer came to speak at his school about all the activities police are responsible for every day, helping the community and keeping people safe, I’m sure it is a goal that we all strive for.

However, as a teen, Felix had never been very active. One day during career week, he spoke with a councilor about his dream of becoming a police officer one day and luckily they passed along the importance of being physically fit and healthy and being able to pass that fitness test. On a recommendation, he joined the track and field team and began running. At first, like most of us, he wasn’t great and had a pretty tough time getting tired, sore and winded; it wasn’t much fun. Thankfully he had a good coach who was able to help motivate him to keep with it and give instructions on how to push the limits and get better, but slowly over time so that he didn’t get burned out.

Over a few years of track he made big improvements and became more confident and found running more enjoyable. After graduation he applied to a police academy in his area and passed the physical fitness test with flying colors thanks to all that training. He has graduated just this week, and thanks to his great test scores was scouted by a police department and will be starting his new career. He is committed to staying fit, as required by the department, and plans on keeping up his running to meet the goal.

I love seeing stories like this about how running improves peoples lives because it really makes me smile and keeps me motivated. I know that running isn’t for everyone but I think that if you are looking for an activity to help you get or stay in shape that you should at least give running a try. First of all, just about anyone can do it, you don’t need a special field or equipment, just a pair of shoes and the outdoors and that means it is cheap too. Though for most it is an acquired taste, it is one that a lot of people find and become passionate about just because of the way it makes them feel, whether it is the freedom, the sense of accomplishment, the exhaustion and rest or some other personal feeling it really does a lot, and it may even help you land your dream job.

Congratulations Felix!

Inspiration for Tomorrow

how to be a runner
how to be a runner

Keep going

I call myself a runner. It’s part of who I am, and if I were to need to describe myself in a few words, I’d be sure to put running on the short list. That wasn’t always the case though. Years ago I was not a runner. Oh I went running, sometimes a lot, sometimes not so much, sometimes a long way and sometimes just for a short jaunt, but there was something different about it and about me. So what is it that changed. What was the switch that got flicked to turn me from regular joe into Joe the Runner. If you ask me I don’t think that there was one.

When I began, as is the case with many, I ran to exercise. I ran because I knew it was good for me and I wanted the benefits of running. I read articles about running online and I did research on the best time to run, the best shoes to wear and even the right music to listen too. I did so many things that I no longer do that you might wonder if I got things mixed up. The answer is no, there is no mix-up, even when I seemed most outwardly dedicated and informed, when running was the topic of conversation most of the time (usually because I brought it up) I don’t think I was really a runner, maybe that was the first step and maybe I thought at the time that it was the case but looking back I would disagree with that young whippersnapper who had all the facts.

The truth was that most of the time I didn’t even look forward to a run very much, sometimes I dreaded going out and sometimes I even skipped a run in favor of a couch and the TV, though I kept going back out and I think ultimately that is what led to my self awarded title: Persistence. As time went on running just became part of my life, part of the routine of the day not something I had to schedule and plan for but just something I did. Whereas in the early days I might have eaten half a banana and a protein shake before my run I no longer worry about the “scientifically perfect formula” for what to eat but I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I’m not worried about looking the part because I know that I’m living the role, living the life of someone who runs. So you might ask what does a runner wear? Well a runner wears whatever I wear, because I’m a runner, and I don’t need flashy shoes or special shorts to prove that to the world, maybe that’s what I’ll wear because I like it or maybe not, its not what matters.

So what about running to get/stay healthy, I must need to plan out my mileage for the week and make sure not to do 2 long, hard runs back to back right? That’s a negative. That’s a short term mindset of someone who has a goal to get healthy from running and then stop once they reach their goal. The mindset of a runner is to go out there and just let loose on the pavement. There is no hidden agenda, there is no ulterior motive and there is no end goal, there is just going and doing it because it’s what you do. And guess what? When you run just because you get healthy, you get fit, it just naturally happens. It’s just a whole lifestyle change and it sort of irons things out, even if you eat a gallon of ice cream one day that is just a drop in the bucket compared the the miles you are putting down each day. It all just sort of smooths out over time.

So how do you become a runner? Well you’ve got to run and you’ve got to keep doing it and not give up until it becomes a part of you. So the real question is how can you keep motivated and not give up on the running? That is a tough one, how do we stay motivated to do anything really? For me it was just being motivated at the start and then just being too lazy to change my routine I guess, even though it sounds silly. Maybe I was always meant to do it, probably not though, it is more likely that running is something I picked up and haven’t been able to drop. So once you find that motivation to run hang on to it and remember that if you hang on long enough it will eventually work out.