My cousin often tells me about this runner’s high. It’s a sensation he can’t quite describe. It’s a feeling foreign to my running experiences. He often tells me about the many thoughts that cross his mind, thoughts he wishes to record or write down, thoughts that once he’s stopped running, he can’t seem to remember. Whether they’re philosophical, ideological, political, etc., these thoughts run vividly and elaborately through his mind. Perhaps this is what keeps him in a zone, keeps him running.
I haven’t been consistently active since spring of 2004. It’s been eight years later, and I plan on changing that. I am undergoing a great deal of changes in my life, and being physically active should not be excluded.
Tuesday, May 29, was supposed to be THE day. To my dismay (or relief), I could not find my sneakers. The next day, it slipped my mind to find them. On May 31, I searched to no avail. Determined to get off my lazy butt, I decided to slip on some thick black socks and run the pavement. I did just that!
I ran around my block for 15 to 20 minutes straight, no slowing down, no hesitation, and no fear. Most of you are not aware, but I used to have a fear of running, mostly because of my breathing. No matter how many different techniques I tried, I was scared of passing out. Also, for some reason, I had a fear of falling on my face as I ran, mainly because when I was younger, I used to sprint a lot, and I felt unable to control my legs- they were too fast for my upper body; I would often trip. For these reasons, running for up to possibly 20 minutes straight was a success to me.
What’s so different this time? Let’s see.
1) I’ve been practicing a breathing technique that my Reiki Healer suggested about a month ago. Technique: JUST BREATHE!
2) I was only wearing socks. (If you refer back to my post about the benefits of barefoot activities, you may understand why this is on the list.)
3) Because I was not wearing shoes, I was very cautious of what I may encounter on the ground, e.g., broken glass, sharp rocks, puddles, a dead animal, etc… therefore, my mind was concentrating on being cautious rather than trying to figure out a breathing technique that works or worrying about falling.
4) …and this is the most important key to my successful run: I BELIEVED IN MYSELF!
Yes, my heart and mind participated in this run as well, not just my body. I wholeheartedly believed that this time there would be no excuses- that I was going to give it my all and just run.
Not too long after I began running (despite being cautious to not step on anything that would hurt or feel disgusting), my mind began thinking about this blog, of all the subjects I wanted to write about. I began forming sentences, then paragraphs in my head. My mind was running too, but it wasn’t running me down. I laughed a few times because I realized that I could have been doing this some years ago. But why dwell on what could have been, I’m doing it NOW, and I feel great! I’ll admit that this single run didn’t give me that runner’s high my cousin often refers to and that I am not very excited about my next one. But I know this is a process, and the actual process of falling in love with running is what I’m genuinely looking forward to.
P.S. I ended up stepping on a very sharp rock that pierced my left foot. I began hopping on my right as I removed the rock with my hand. And I kept running – not thinking of the pain, laughing it off because I almost wished I knew where my shoes were. Oh well!
Here’s to running!