Practicing Positivity and Staying Motivated

By Tommy McClellan

“Running is 90 percent mental, and the other 10 percent is physical”

Who knows if this quote’s math is correct, but I do know that thinking and acting positive has not only had a positive effect on my running, but my life as well. I’ve had a loving relationship with running since I started at twelve years old. We’ve cared for each other, we’ve nurtured my mental health through tough times, and we’ve always enjoyed a quick pee break. Then I went to college and continued to run at the NCAA level. While at college, I never stopped to ask myself “why am I doing this” or “what is my philosophy for running and for life”. I had times (more than I’d like to admit) where I lost focus, gave up, and actively practiced negativity. At the time, I would say things like “I suck” or “I’m not going to be even close to winning”. Often times I meant this as a joke, but looking back, I realize that using negative language and having negative thoughts will only lead to negative results.

Young me!

Young me!

So, the big question is “how do I stay motivated?”.

For me, it’s using positive language and focusing on the positive things in my life. Sure, negative thoughts still enter my brain, but I just let them pass and focus on the things I have and can do, rather than can’t. I also find races that excite me. Having a goal race can be one of the most important things to increase motivation. Luckily, the Philadelphia area has some great races that people of all abilities can compete like the Broad Street Run every May, Philly Run Fest every June, The Philly 10K in August, and the Philadelphia Marathon in November. Our website also has a list of group runs in the area here.

So, take a breath, think positive thoughts, and find your motivation for running. Whether it’s for a loved one, the love of the sport, or just to improve your health, find what keeps you focused.