When I was younger, I had an affinity for Tigger. I dressed up as him for Halloween a few times and I had a number of Tigger stuffed animals. Maybe it was his orange fur that made me think of my own hair or maybe it was just his happy go-lucky attitude that I liked. I’m not sure exactly, but Tigger was my dude.
Okay, fine. IS my dude. (I may still have those stuffed animals and I might have worn that costume last Halloween … ) But recently I’ve found a new way to appreciate my furry cartoon friend: running.
See, my husband is what I’d call a “springy” runner. He really pushes off when he runs and if you watch his gait, it just looks like he has energy in his legs. Same goes for when I watch faster or elite runners race or even run past me on the trail. They just always look so dang springy. Like Tigger, full of bounce!
But, alas, I rarely feel springy when I run. Often, I barely lift my feet off the ground and I don’t have a lot of kick. But in the spirit of this, I’ve begun to work on that which I want. And you know what I want? I want to feel like freakin’ Tigger when I run.
I don’t really care about how fast I run or how far I run (although speeding up sure would be nice!), but I want to feel different when I run. In the past I’ve usually set goals that are SMART and therefore very trackable. But this time I’m taking a different approach by setting an intention and going after a feeling. It may be not quite as specific or measurable — and sure, it’s definitely a little goofy — but it speaks to me. So I’m going with it.
Now when I run I put on tunes that lift me up and motivate me to move (lately the Spotify running app that times to your pace has been my JAM), I wear running shoes that give me a lot of bounce (I’m looking at you, adidas Ultra Boost and Brooks Running Ghost 8) and I focus on my form — making sure to lift my legs, push off and kick my heels back. And, most of all, I try to evoke the inner Tigger in me. The childlike part of me that’s out bouncing around and having a great time with a big ol’ smile on her face, without a care in the world.
That’s what I want running to be like.
How about you? Have any unlikely sources of running motivation or unusual role models? Here’s another good one. —Jenn