A Runner’s Brain Inspired by the Children’s Book, Never Take A Shark To The Dentist

January 17, 2013 Posted By: Serena Burla

The other day my son Boyd (now 4 years old) and I went to the library and checked out our weekly pile of books including some old favorites and some never reads. We always check out more than we can carry and get an extra weight workout in during this process. Children’s books are one of my guilty pleasures. I love reading books to kids (especially Boyd), because I can then listen to their insightful comments and predictions. I also find the level of imagination required by the authors and illustrators to be very interesting.

I have always loved reading. Admittedly, I am one of those people wholikes reading a book from cover to cover in a single sitting.As a professional runner-mom it’s a good thing I stick to reading children’s books to Boyd at night, and save most of my novel reading for long trips. That way I protect my rest. Otherwise, I have to make my husband turn off the light at a good hour.

Anyhow, Boyd and I checked out and proceeded to read a new-to-us book called Never Take a Shark to the Dentist (and other things not to do). It was a very funny and clever read that I have gratefully read numerous times now without getting bored (never hold hands with a lobster was my favorite page). It ended with a … “but always” scenario (I won’t ruin the ending in case you check it out).

Somehow this, and the start of the New Year got me thinking about new runners and funny lessons or situations my running friends and I have found ourselves learning or experiencing through the years. For runners it is incredibly important to always try to think in the positive. I have been encouraged tocontrol my mind by engaging in positive thinking activities such as rephrasing statements and looking at situations from different angles. Therefore, my recent reading experience has inspired me to create my own collection of running stories or thoughts, if you will. They focus on the positive using “always” rather than “never”. So put your imaginations to work for the illustrations, use yourself as the character, or fill in the blanks with how I came to share these “always” running moments. For my running friends who’ve experienced these with me; we carry on.

Always Scenarios of Running by Serena Burla

Always take that first running step, you won’t regret it. It is often the hardest to do but the most important in the end
Always bring your own gloves; all others may be covered in excess snot, spit, sweat, etc.
Always check around you before you blow a snot rocket
Always establish eye contact with drivers while running and be sure they are going to stop
Always double knot your shoes and zip the bottoms of your warm up pants to prevent falls
Always give dogs plenty of room when passing
Always be aware of squirrels crossing or they might end up your leg
Always verbally announce when you are passing someone from behind. You might want to do this when you are several steps away to prevent an incident due to reflexes and you will feel less guilty when you scare someone
Always find new trails and parks to discover when you travel
Always layer up
Always head straight for your run after work before stopping at home
Always put crumpled up newspaper in wet shoes to dry them
Always wipe with nonpoisonous leaves, even wiping with a rock would be better
Always save Chili day for the night before a scheduled day off
Always beware of the port-a-potty splash
Always keep a balance between hard and easy/recovery days
Always recruit a running buddy when you are feeling down or unmotivated
Always put one foot in front of the other. Take one step at a time
Always remember how good you feel when you finish (mentally at least)
Always be patient with your running journey
Always remember that ice is your friend and helps cure most ailments
Always stretch post run
Always run with a sports bra (for women- even if you think you have little there)
Always keep your hair long enough for a ponytail or short enough that you don’t have to worry about it
Always make sure your running loop with the river crossing is not flooded if you don’t plan on running out and back.
Always wear sunglasses or a hat when you are the first ones to hit the trails in summer to avoid breaking all the spider webs with your face
Always find a good meeting place for brunch after a long run
Always keep an extra change of clothes and shoes in your car- pony tail holders too (to change into afterwards, for an impromptu run, or in case you run out of gas)
Always allow more time than you think you will need for a run, especially if you are meeting people. One person will always be a tiny bit late
Always share your love of running
Always take advantage of sprinklers in the summer
Always have a few friends to call if you need a babysitter last minute in order to get in your run
Always work as much on the mental side of running as physical
Always make sure you belong to the golf course or know someone who does when you do strides on the 10th hole and grab a drink of water
Always wear a headlight and reflective gear at night
Always share words of support to other runners once in a while
Always surround yourself with an amazing support team
Always continue towards your goals and set new ones once they are reached
Always be the best runner you can be
Always enjoy your running journey

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