iSportsAnalysis are serialising “Running Sussed”, a book by ex international runner Julia Chi Taylor. In today’s chapter Julia will be talking about “Creating the Picture”. Thank you Julia Chi for sharing your wisdom and insights.

It is a book to open people to the ‘how to run” aspect – or “how to become a runner“ and yes, definitely those who haven’t run much and a interested to follow a path of least resistance

But – it also has a philosophical aspect that means that people who have run for years can get something from it – some deeper insight or connection to themselves through the art of running.


Julia has been running all of her life, it has informed how she has chosen to live from a very young age and has been the bedrock of her ‘practice’ both physical and spiritual – in fact it has become her spiritual practice through the mirror of seeing herself reflected back in her running endeavours.

Julia achieved her first international vest at the age of 19 and went on to run at international level for the next 13 years.

Her most notable achievements were winning the Dublin City Marathon, being placed 7th woman in the London Marathon (3rd British) in a time of 2.36.31 and competing in the Commonwealth Games Marathon in 1986.

Chapter 11: Affirmations

Words are so powerful, we influence others and ourselves every moment by the words that we speak, and of course how we say them, what emphasis or timbre of tone we use. How we say things is integral to what we say and what we say affects our lives minute by minute. We can literally change our lives by changing our attitudes and changing the stories we are telling or changing how we see a situation and how we report this to others. Our neural pathways that influence how we see the world and how we see ourselves can be changed by repeated use of new ways of speaking.

If we have become entrenched in a certain way of seeing things or say certain things over and over then this can take some re-training and needs us to be present and to notice what is coming out of your mouth and the mouths of others and noticing how you collude with certain stories, are they uplifting? Will they take you to your running goals and dreams or will they keep ensuring that you stop short before realising your fullest potential.

Running is such an individual expression; if you choose to race, or even if you simply want to be fit enough to run over the countryside or on the beach or around the town, then ultimately it is up to you, you are the only person who can take that step, you are the only person who can put on your running shoes and head out of the door, you are the only person who truly knows whether you have given of your best in a race or left the foot of the pedal.

In short, there is no one to blame…

Once you truly internalize that stance and take full responsibility for your running journey, once you fully commit to the running road, then all the resources are there for you which will support you on your journey, but the ultimate commitment is to you and to the path.

To become more conscious of the words that we are saying to ourselves, formal affirmations can be very powerful. However they do need to be with awareness that unless the core belief shifts to one that ultimately support you in realizing your fullest expression, then the words themselves will be rejected if any of the core beliefs are entrenched in a negative pattern

For example, sometimes unconsciously we will hold a belief that we are undeserving of success, or unworthy, or that good things aren’t meant to happen to us, or that we are bad or wrong – and so allowing success and fun is less easy and often the unconscious saboteur stops us short. By formally writing down affirmations that match with the images and the visualisation, you will be creating an inner reality that then cannot help manifest in the outer realms. The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined events so by powerful images and words to match, it is possible to access anything deeper at the core that is blocking you and allow the wound to heal and the pain to release.

As you open to new possibility and start to write your positive affirmations it might trigger memories for you or when you were small and were told you were not capable of achieving something ‘you’ll amount to nothing’ ‘You’re no good’ – this can cause a deep wound within and in starting to open to achieving something for yourself, it is inevitable that your patterns and adaption’s to these wounds and core beliefs will come up to the surface. So start to write down words about yourself and your running expression that will inspire you.

If you have started running later in life perhaps write ‘this is the perfect age for me to be running’ – if you have never done anything like running before perhaps affirm that ‘the running adventure is taking me to places I’ve never dreamed and bringing me rich and varied experiences’ – if you desire that you are slimmer and leaner write ‘My body is agile and lean and the perfect shape for running’

Other suggestions can be around training and looking after yourself ‘I train optimally at all times to help me achieve all that I know I can ‘I listen to my body as it has all the wisdom and will lead me to where I need to go – ‘Perhaps a more global element ‘I know that I have within me all the power of the universe to achieve all that I am capable of. If there is an area where you stick, for instance long runs or hills, you could write ‘Long runs are an experience that are building my strength to run fast and free in the marathon’ and the hills ‘Hill build me strength and endurance which I benefit from so embrace’ – to keep aligned and injury free ‘My body loves to run and can run for miles free from pain and restriction’.

Short phrases can help too ‘I can do this’ I run like the wind’.

Another powerful way to affect the health of the body is to repeat a mantra over and over; either one you created yourself or pick one that is universal. The vibrational affect of the sound and the collective emotional energy of a word used by many said over and over will affect the health of your body in very positive ways and contribute to your running expression being joyous and not one of push and strain.

A mantra acts on the body because it restores the pattern of the sound at the heart of each and every cell and so creates dynamic health within the body.

There are many to choose form and over the years I have used different ones at different times according to what resonated. For a while I ran chanting ‘Om ma ni pad me hum’ with every step I took – for a long while I repeated ‘I love you thank you, thank you I love you’ one time for the duration of a whole marathon; and currently I find, ‘Om tare tu tare ture soha’ has a powerful effect on my wellbeing…

Running in the step will transform you beyond what you ever imagined.


About the Author: Julia Chi Taylor

About the Author: Julia Chi Taylor


Julia is an ex international distance runner.
In the late 70’s all through the 80’s and into the early 90’s she competed regularly for England and GB at distances from 5k to Marathon. Some of her best performances include winning the 1985 Dublin Marathon and finishing 7th woman (3rd British woman) in the 1986 London Marathon in a time of 2.36.31 where she was selected to run in the Commonwealth Games.

She still competes now as a master over 55, regularly winning her age group in races around the world. She’s was also part of the winning team for the national master X country championships in March this year, 2016. Julia has coached and mentored others to achieve their dreams in sport and life for the past forty years!

Read about her barefoot adventures:
Watch Julia chart her barefoot journey all over the world:

Julia’s Books:
Girlfriend For A Year
Running To Learn
Running Sussed

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