Updated: Nov 30, 2021
“This used to be my old stomping ground. This is where I got high and sat on the streets all day,” Julian commented as we were training along the route of the Los Angeles Marathon. For him, Sunset Boulevard had been a place of hopelessness and a path to nowhere. On that day, it was a place where he was proving to himself that he could do a 16 mile training run with ease.
Four months earlier, he hadn’t been training at all. He had started out with a 2 mile walk, just like everyone else on the Running for Recovery Los Angeles Marathon Team. Like his team mates, he is in early recovery and a resident at a local addiction treatment center. He had consistently shown up to group runs. He had trained midweek per the recommendations. He was approaching each training run with a positive attitude. He was enjoying the support of his teammates. Week after week, he was watching himself become stronger and stronger. Sunset Boulevard was now a reminder of his progress.
On Marathon Day (March 8, 2020), the street will be lined with cheering crowds. The energy will be palpable. He will be among a group of 25,000+ runners. He will be well past the halfway point, less than two hours away from crossing the finish line. Sunset Boulevard will become a place where he can reflect on just how far he’s come since he got sober. It will be a reminder of the life he left behind and the new one he is creating.
What are your negative associations with a place or behavior? What can you do differently in your life to create uplifting associations with those actions and places?
You can change your narrative. The power is yours.