It all started back in my teens. That was my first foray into the world of exercise. I think I just decided to give it a try one day and I discovered I was good at it. I'm not a sprinter, but I'm a good distance runner, and I run at a good pace. It turned into something that I always kept coming back to. I went with all the workout trends as they came and went, but running was always there, somewhere, in the mix of things. Back then I did it purely for exercise and burning calories to rid my body of the fat I thought I had back then. These days I run for (i) the challenge it creates for me, and (ii) the mental clarity it gives me.
I'll start with the challenge part first. Back in the winter of '01, I took my kids on clear, sunny, but snowy day out with a friend and her kids for a day of sledding. Well, the four kids were laughing and having a great time and my friend and I decided we wanted in on some of that as well. Well, trying to be like my daughter I stood on the sled and went down the hill like that (snowboarding was just becoming 'the' thing back then) and I did great. It was second run that took me out-I picked up too much speed and put my foot out to slow myself down and bam! My foot planted in the snow, but the rest of me kept going. Cut to the chase--I have an ankle held together by plates on each side, multiple screws and I believe 3 or so pins. Therein lies my running challenge--my orthopedic surgeon told me I would never run again. I'm stubborn, so prove him wrong I did and still do--as often my crazy life permits too!
Re the mental clarity, well it does just that. It clears my head of everthing that clogs it up. I tend to take a lot of things to heart. I agonize over things beyond my control, I take on more than I can and should, and I tend to let things that shouldn't get to me, get to me. When I go out for a run, I can put a lot of things into perspective. I'm by myself, it's my time and I can run the wudda/cudda/shudda's and why/why nots of everything through my head. Most of the time when I finish I feel much better about situations that really troubled me or had me down when I started. I don't know why this is, but it works for me. A lot of people ridicule the 'runner's high' that people claim to get. I, for one, totally get it. The feeling you get following a great run is a stimulant for your body.
I could go on and on about this, but I'm curious to hear other people's point of view on this. Why do you run? What does it do for you?
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