As winter really hits Maryland, getting out of my warm bed in the morning is becoming increasingly difficult. Even worse, I’m getting out of bed to run in the frigid morning air. Over the past week, temps have dropped into the teens, and Maryland has seen wind chills in the single digits.

Though I have the DC Rock n Roll Half-Marathon motivating me to get out of bed and run, not even that goal is enough on some days. No, I haven’t actually skipped a day yet, but I’m having to dig deep for my intrinsic motivation.

While training for a race is a suitable and even admirable goal, running with no purpose at all can be motivating. The wind in my face — chilly as it may be — is liberating. I emerge from the world of schoolwork — where I’m behind a desk and computer screen — into the natural world; I glide along feeling light and free. I have time to process all the information that’s been thrown at me the day before and all the conversations I’ve engaged. I mentally prepare for the day ahead.

I even relax.

Running is relaxing?! When I use it as “me time” it is actually quite peaceful. The world is quiet in the dark of the morning, and it’s just me pushing along.

Think about where you find your peace. Why does that activity draw you in? Why does it calm you? Be it playing a sport, creating art, listening to a music album, or reading works from a favorite author, we all have our reasons for finding solace in certain activities. Oftentimes that solace turns into a passion, but there are periods in our lives when it’s hard the find the drive even for our passions. So when that happens, we need to remember why we started. We need to remember what pulled us in to begin with, and then we can renew our love and immerse ourselves even deeper.

I’m looking at tomorrow’s weather forecast, and it’s going to be bitterly cold …

Wish me luck!

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