Some Thoughts on Running

One of my daily habits I’m trying to cut down on is exercise, which most often takes the form of running. I run outside year round in the Deep South, where the summer can be exerting just to breathe outside for anyone not from here. There are many days I wonder if it’s worth it, but they are more than outweighed by the other days that reach some kind of blissful state, if such a thing can exist while intermittently struggling to breathe.

There’s some primal area in the brain doing what it wants to do when you’re running, in fact what it was made to do, and that seems to make most problems you might have in the world disappear for a while. It’s pretty hard to be concerned about most trivial things, even sex, when your body is using that much of its resources.

Sometimes I wonder if the post-run high is your body saying, “I’m glad to not be doing that anymore!” But I’m going to stick with endorphins as the primary cause. The number one reason I run is for the overall elevation of mood it provides, which to me translates to being happier. The number two reason is the ability to eat basically whatever I want. On an extra-intense run recently my internal dialogue asked, “Do I really put myself through this just for the ability to enjoy being hedonistic with the rest of my time?” to which my thoughts responded, “Yes.”

Aside from the endorphin and metabolism boost, I personally would include but not limit the following benefits of running:

• Experiencing the sights and smells of outside, depending on where you live
• The knowledge that you could probably win if an argument had to be settled by a footrace
• Opportunities to see unusual events around the area you go (I’ve seen all kinds of crazy stuff!)
• A clear sense of superiority over others
• One more outfit in the day to make a fashion statement with
• People yelling things at you for their amusement
• Abs
• An extra average of 5 years of life to enjoy things you missed out on while running

I also like the no cost factor except for shoes and socks (sometimes the winter requires gear).

Of course in regards to my comment above, there is no appropriate sense of superiority. As a runner, like everything else in the world, there is always someone much more and much less capable than you. Anyone trying has my respect. I also know not everyone is able to for various reasons. I am extremely thankful I continue to have the health to allow me to run, but maybe some day I look forward to driving down the road and laughing while calling some jogger and idiot under my breath.