Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Inspired to Run: What I keep running

"I love the feeling of perspiring and respiring...I loved the feeling of being fast." This is taken from a conversation I had with one of my English professors today about why he loves to run. He also mentioned that he runs for solitude--as a break from his highly social position and an opportunity to recharge. I have similar motivations to run, which I shall enumerate below.

1. Feeling Fast
I remember thinking to myself when I would sprint late to school, "It is incredible that my body can move this quickly. I don't need anything like wheels or and engine in order to go several mph!" I was fascinated by this ability that most of us humans have. There is something exhilarating about feeling fast. In one of the last scenes of the last Narnia novel, The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis, several of the characters get to experience running over stretches of hills and fields without feeling fatigue. I always picture this when I get a rush of pure joy of speed.

2. Being Outside
This was another thing my professor mentioned. It draws me to running as well. It is a way that I get to commune with nature. I get to breathe in huge gulps of air and wind through forest paths. No, I don't get too up close and personal with flower buds and twigs and things, but I do get to be in nature for a prolonged period of time.

3. Playing Mindgames
I sometimes think of running as of a strategy game I am playing against myself. I am trying to convince myself to run faster than my body thinks it can. I use a series of internal motivational speeches to coax myself into running up to that tree. Ok, now to that rock. Now run all the way to that signpost and so on. If I am running around a track repeatedly then I design a system of which circuits I will run fast, which moderately fast and which slowly.

4. Learning a Place
I mentioned this a little bit in yesterday's post. I used running as a way to get to know my new town when I was a kid. I ran all over and pretty soon knew it like the back of my hand. I do this almost everywhere I travel: I go for a run in the new place. Even if I am only there for a few days I wake up early and run around before the activities of the day begin. It gives me a sense of where I am and what else is there. If it is an urban place then before I go running I ask a local person if there are any places to avoid. I love the way this can make me feel less like a tourist and more like someone who lives there.

5. Joy
I find joy in running. This goes along with what I was saying above about running over hills in Narnia. Running gives me energy. Wind whooshing by my ears is amazing. Sometimes I listen to music which in itself gives me a boost while running. The twenty minutes after a run are the best. Your heart beat is stabilising, your legs tingle and you can feel a stream of lovely endorphins trickling through your veins.

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