My love affair with outdoor running started in high school, when I was trying to get in shape, I was literally dragged by a friend to join him for a run. From the get go, it just felt right, on all levels, mind and body- being in motion – being a part of nature. The feeling of euphoria that overcame me after each run, was second to none. I remember often wondering: “How is it possible that after completing a one hour run, and being completely exhausted, I feel so good.” True sense of experiencing an emotional Nirvana.
The “love affair” was interrupted in my 20’s and 30’s, when running was knocked off the priority list. Dealing with school, developing career, and starting a family, fully consumed my existence. And so, many moons later, as life happens, I found myself in late 40’s as a classic case of being a “couch potato”. Not doing any other form of exercise. Obese, fully depleted of energy and a fundamental joy of life. Light bulbs were flashing… I knew that I must do something to avoid the inevitable destination I was “speeding” towards.
With my back against the wall, I started to scan back to my youth, looking for a solution. The pivotal point in making a decision to resume running, came from a quote by Albert Einstein who once said: “Leading by example is not one of the means, it’s the only means.” You see I was an “overly hands-on father”, who always had something to say to my three kids. Why? Let’s leave that for another time… Anyhow, the above quote, made it crystal clear to me that parenting is not about telling – it’s all about doing. All I can say that Mr. Einstein is a genius - but you knew that already.
Currently, I religiously practice running for 4-5 times a week, have managed to change diet habits, lost few pounds, and enjoy being a part of three marathons per year.
Here are some thoughts that come to mind when asking myself: “What made you stick with outdoor running for all these years?” Because:
It’s when I get to feel like a kid
It’s when my thinking subsides and my mind resets to calmness
It’s when I don’t need to achieve any goals
It’s when I feel stronger and alive
It’s when I get to spend time with myself
It’s when I learn about myself
It’s when I get to forgive myself
It’s when I get to say “Thank You” to myself
It’s when I get to love myself just the way I am
If you are wondering if you will be able to have the same experience as mine? As a fellow human, my answer is a resounding Yes. Irrespective of the physical and mental shape you are in, make a decision to gradually change in your reality. Regardless of circumstances and habits, never give up on yourself. Because your life and well-being matters!