When Your Thoughts Run Away With You

I’m not a runner. If you see my feet moving quickly do two things…

– Look behind me to see if I’m being chased

– Look ahead of me and see if there’s a cupcake

Beyond those extenuating circumstances, I’m quite happy to go through life at a slower pace. So I’m not sure what got into my head that made me think I might start running this summer. I’d already been biking and swimming so why not, right?

So I did what every girl does at the start of a new chapter in her life: I went shoe shopping.

At the local running store they put you on a treadmill so they can see your stride. As the teenage salesman explained the various issues people have, my husband piped in to save some time. “I can tell you what she does. She runs like a duck.” Thanks, honey.

And my little jaunt on the treadmill confirmed it. Just call me Daffy.

After I stepped back onto solid ground, the salesguy delievered good news. Apparently running like a duck is quite curable.

He said, “You just need to retrain your muscle memory. Every time you’re sitting down or standing still, point your toes straight ahead. Over time, your body will do that naturally. You can learn to run differently.”


I had a flashback to what I’d read recently in a book about how our brains are wired. It said we literally create neural pathways when we think the same way over and over again. To change our thoughts, we had to do essentially what the salesguy was telling me know.

Every time we’re in neutral we’ve got to intentionally point our thoughts in a new direction until it becomes automatic.

God made us in amazing ways–from our brains to the bottoms of our feet. Whatever we repeat, our body remembers. This comes in handy a lot. But in some cases, for example running like a duck or worrying about a particular thing, it means we have to intentionally teach ourselves something new. Transformed by the renewing of our minds.

I may run like a duck now…but not forever.

I may have thoughts I don’t want running around in my mind today…but not forever.

So this summer if you see me running, you can cheer me. I give you permission to do so instead of calling the police because you assume I’m being chased or trying to beat me to whatever cupcake must be ahead.

Just no “quacking” noises, please. It might disturb my concentration. And I’ve got a lot of steps to take.




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duck picture taken by pheanix

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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