So WHY do I run?

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Why do I run? Why on earth would I pick an activity that results in the potential for injury? I sat here thinking about it. WHY RUN?

Well, the most simple answer, the first one that popped into my head was, "because it is wonderful". WHAT? Why would I think that something that involves effort, and sweating, and now all this introspection and training and PT, is wonderful??? I can explain some of the reasons that make up that sense of "wonderful" that I associate with running.

When I was a kid, I had terrible allergies, and it really affected my ability to enjoy running around. My mom told me that once at field day in elementary school, I finally just broke down in tears, because I could not keep up, and it made me so upset and frustrated. This changed around middle school. I had my tonsils out, and also something about the hormonal changes, resulted in my suddenly being able to be athletic. And it felt good to move, and run, and feel STRONG. I value feeling healthy and being able to exercise. I did not always have that ability.

I am a high energy person, with a mind that can go like a hamster running on a wheel. Round and round, round and round. Meditation and running give my hamster-wheel-mind A BREAK. When I have been running for a few miles, the thoughts first pour forth and pile up and then seem to flow away, like leaves floating down a swift river. The intensity has an outlet in running, and when I finish, I feel like there has been a release from stress, intense thoughts, and the world.

I love the outdoors. My girlfriend teases me about this, because I say "I LOVE THE OUTDOORS" all the time. Being out in the grass, and trees, and fresh air, makes me feel alive, and in touch with the earth. I do go hiking, which also allows me that space for being in the outdoors. However, I find that running allows me to get into that place of being connected with nature in a quick way, when there is not time for a hike. I can even go running in the dark around my neighborhood at night, and feel that sense of air and life and being alive.

I can run nearly anywhere I am. I travel a great deal for work, and usually my days are filled with meetings and talks when I am on the road. I can wake up early, slip on my sneakers and running clothes, leave the hotel, and really SEE where I am, and come back to work relaxed and more ok with spending the rest of the day inside.

In Hawaii, running as the sun rises. In Germany, running on cobble stones and watching a sleepy town wake up and prepare for the day. In Sydney, Australia, running up to a gate, and being the first one allowed onto the promenade along the harbor. When I have been on vacation, joining a local race has let me meet local people, and take part in community.  Below I am posting pictures, all taken from running I have done while on a trip, or trail running after work.

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7 Comments

My brain works exactly the same way: total hamster wheel time. It would be great if I could cultivate a habit of exercise and exertion. I always turn to various creative projects; that's what does it for me. These photographs are amazing. Such adventures you've had!

I thought perhaps you also had "hamster wheel mind" like me. The amount of projects and things I am always doing! And I love that you turn that UP TO 11 with the number of creative projects I see you do. It inspires me to tap into that vast well of creativity that exists and use that energy in that direction too!!! I joke that I am a Border Collie, and without enough to do, I WILL CHEW UP THE COUCH.

Nice! I love the pictures! I find myself wanting to go back and take pictures of the places I've run...even here in Utah where I live. Do you go back later with a camera or use your phone? I'd love to have a collage of running snapshots from all different runs! My most recent running post: http://sarahsjoys.com/2012/06/16/provo-canyon-the-run-that-sealed-the-deal/

Hi! I use my phone to take the pictures - the iphone has such a great camera these days that with a bit of messing about I can often catch a great photo. I ran a trail race where I took pictures during the race. I had never thought about taking pictures during a run or race until I was with a friend in a race, and he was snapping pictures here and there. Obviously I end up with some really bad and blurry pictures, and the really good pictures are only when I stop to take real photo :) I'll check out your post! I loved the post from Bryce Canyon, especially the Lilly pics that were so so great. :)

And I just fixed all the pictures - I switched to a new format for my blog and there were some strange formatting issues! Still not perfect, but much better and not overlapping :)

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I thought the overlapping thing was an intentional artistic thing! :) Thanks for checking out the posts! I wanted to go for a run in Bryce but I was so tired that week I scaled back my mileage a lot! Plus, hiking at 7,600 feet is a lot harder than at 5,000 ft so running would have been painful!

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I thought the overlapping thing was an intentional artistic thing! :) Thanks for checking out the posts! I wanted to go for a run in Bryce but I was so tired that week I scaled back my mileage a lot! Plus, hiking at 7,600 feet is a lot harder than at 5,000 ft so running would have been painful!

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