Why I fell in love with running?
If you are a bit like me, you are naturally quite neurotic and experience feelings such as anxiety, worry, fear, anger and frustration more often than you should. Deep down, your rational self knows that these feelings should not control your life. However, detaching from the ‘now’, zooming out and focusing on the big picture is easier said than done.
If you are a bit like me, you won’t be able to simply accept it and try to live with it. Everything can be improved. Self control is a skill, not a gift given to you when you were born. You just need to find something that can detach you. Something that clears out your mind and relaxes you. For many, the answer is meditation, but you might find it weird and uncomfortable to sit in one place, forcing yourself to think about nothing.
If you are a bit like me, you should try out running.
Running is amazing. I noticed that while running, my head is actually working and isn’t full of bullshit. I’m not sure why. It could be that my body releases a surge of dopamines, rewarding me for getting off my ass and moving around. Or it could be that running tricks my brain that it is in a flight or fight situation, and it reacts by dropping every thought that is not essential for survival. Either way, I have found a switch which reboots my brain, empties my RAM, and kills the unnecessary background processes.
Lately, when I feel anxious, I take my shoes and run a 5K. Problems at work? A quick jog can solve it. Feeling depressed? Running around the block will instantly make me feel better. Can’t sleep? After 10K I’ll sleep like a log.
So, do you want to start running?
First things first, shoes. Most people spend a lot of money on shoes. Don’t. It is a scam. Unless you have weird feet or something, you honestly don’t need to. Any regular pair of shoes will work just great if you are running less than 10K.
The first week isn’t going to be fun. If you have never run before, you will use muscles that you have never used. If you are out of shape, don’t expect you first experience to be lovely. You will be covered in sweat. It will feel like the air suddenly doesn’t have enough oxygen. Hang in there. After several weeks, it gets better.
Your first goal should be 5K. Anyone can do a 5K with enough practice. Find a good route, run as far as you can. Next time, run a bit farther. Next time even farther. Before you even notice, you will be running a 5K, and running will feel amazing.
Running is like a drug, but a pretty healthy one. While running, it is the perfect opportunity to make difficult decisions about your life. It is a perfect opportunity to wonder about the meaning of life and why are we here on this small rock spinning around a giant fire ball. Or you can think about nothing, simply concentrating on moving one foot before the other.
Running isn’t an exercise, it’s a meditation that you do with your feet.