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  • Writer's pictureThomas Paquette

Mantras may aid in motivating goals

I get to lace up my shoes. I get to step outside my door. I get to run today.

I was recently introduced to a mantra known as the “I get to ...” approach. It has helped me tremendously in my mentality — not just in running, but in every aspect of my life.

We often look at the negatives and disadvantages in situations, and eventually those become excuses. For example, we sometimes think we do not have the time to fit in our workout routine or run. If we don’t think we have time, why do it at all, right? It is always better to get in what you can than nothing at all. It is important to appreciate the 30 minutes you were able to get in for the day, rather than be disappointed you didn’t get in 60 minutes you had on the schedule.

My father would always tell me as a kid, “You have no idea how lucky you have it.” I often took for granted the little things in life. It could be having a home-cooked meal to come home to every night after cross country practice, or running hot water to shower with after a cold, bitter run. I had the luxury to have nice running shoes and proper clothing to run in. I had the ability to run for fun. I had the opportunity to compete for my high school and eventually Keene State College. After college, I took the liberty to take my training to the next level.

However, to some people, running isn’t a luxury. It’s not for recreation, rather, their livelihood depends on it. Elite runners on the world stage depend on their performance to make money to provide for themselves and their family. While the majority of us go out and enjoy an easy run, someone’s 2-mile fitness test will earn them health insurance for their family. Those are the most important 2 miles they will run. The importance of their running transcends the thought of me not wanting to work out.

When you put yourself in other peoples’ shoes for just a minute, you realize that something so simple may be in fact the most important thing in their life. That it is not necessarily “I have to” run 3 miles or I “have to” go to the gym. Be thankful that you “get to ...” do just a little bit each day.

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