I’ve been working my way through the books I received for Christmas and it’s got me thinking about why I’ve taken to running so eagerly. It’s an interesting exercise as it’s helping me identify what’s important to me and what kind of life I want to lead.
The obvious response is that it’s helping fight off the ageing process! I know running is doing me good physically. I feel better, I’ve lost a bit of weight and I can run distances now that I’d have baulked at 20 or 30 years ago. But I really don’t think it’s that that gets me out the house in any weather 3 or 4 times a week. I think it’s more to do with the following:
- The sense of community
There’s nothing like sharing a passion with other likeminded people. We do sometimes talk about other things as we’re plodding around the streets of Birmingham, but more often than not we’ll be sharing news of our goals, our latest injuries, our next runs and knowing we have a friendly, interested and supportive ear. I’ve yet to meet a horrible runner!
- The chance to give something back
I mentioned in an earlier post how running offers lots of opportunities for volunteering, and this is something I’ve really enjoyed. I do very little compared to some others I could mention, but I certainly aim to include more of this during 2019.
- A healthier mind
I’ve taken to meditation and spend 10 minutes every morning trying to start the day with a clear mind. It’s surprisingly difficult to go 10 minutes without thoughts racing through my head. Yet I can often go ages during a run thinking of nothing other than the pavement in front of me and how my body is feeling. It’s common knowledge that running is a wonderful antidote to anxiety and depression and I can certainly vouch for the fact that it gives me a rest from any concerns or frustrations that might be on my mind.
- Having a goal
I like having something to aim for and running provides opportunities for a focus, whether it’s something long term, like my marathon ambitions, or more immediate like going for a PB on a parkrun. The challenge in the future might be finding new things to focus on. One goal should definitely be to enjoy running!
- A sense of achievement
Then of course if you succeed in those goals there’s that sense of achievement at having done something you didn’t think was possible or was certainly above and beyond the ordinary. That’s definitely been the case with the PBs I’ve had in the past and completing some of the longer runs like the Birmingham half.
So I suppose the aim should be to keep running throughout 2019 so I have as much of this in my life as possible!