If you were to hold a butterfly in your hand would you grasp it lightly or tightly?

It’s easy when running to forget about your form – to clench your hands, or hold stress and tension in your arms, neck and more.  Running TENSE causes your performance to decrease.  It can lead to fatigue sooner than you would like and can even cause injuries.

Happiness is as a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

When I run I picture happiness in my hand in the form of a butterfly.  When I feel my fists tighten I remember that I don’t not want harm to come to my butterfly.  I need to have a loose hand to hold it so I don’t crush it.

I personally also hold tension in my face, as evidenced by the many forehead wrinkles I have at the ripe old age of 28.  When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror I am often greeted with a scowl.  I’m not sure how or why I started doing this but I constantly have to remind myself to ‘loosen’ my facial muscles. 

One thing that has helped me while running alleviate some of this tension is by wearing sunglasses.  This helps me to not squint and does double duty during the winter time of protecting my eyes from the cold harsh wind. 

If my face and hands are relaxed, I am relaxed and perform better.


  1. SupermomE12 says:

    I like this! I had someone tell me once to imagine that I was holding an egg in each hand (same idea, but I like butterflies better).
    I think "float like a butterfly sting like a bee" is a great running mantra. :)

  2. I love this as well. What a great image!

  3. Many moons ago in high school track, a coach told us something that has always stuck with me. Run as if you are carrying a potato chip in your hands (that is – don't crunch it!)

  4. Rebecca Samson says:

    Wow, to be honest I never thought about what my hands do while I run. I might be clenching a water bottle but when I'm not I have no clue. I'll have to pay more attention tomorrow. Interesting!

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