Why do I run?

I was out for a long run on Sunday in the freezing cold here and my mind began to wander a little and meandered onto the thought of why I run.  At first though this seems like a very simple question with a multitude of simple answers.  Sure there are plenty of obvious candidates to lose weight, look better, feel fitter, compete with myself, but none of these rang true.  Shallow reasons of self interest could not explain why I was trudging through the mud and the ice with the temperature below zero, I just don't have the vanity or the body to make it worth my while.  It had to be something else, something deeper that drove me.  Was it the same thing that once drove me to play basketball for two hours a day in an extremely ropey Manchester neighbourhood and brave the cold mud and pain to play rugby in the UK?

Then it came to me, it was absolute nothingness.  Four miles in with aching legs and wet toes my mind went blank, no thoughts of pleasure or pain, just calm.  The serenity of being absolutely comfortable in what you are doing, feeling like you could go for miles without a care in the world.  In a way it’s like euphoria without the awareness that you are happy. This inner peace is what I had been chasing all these years and you could almost not notice it was there.

You could call this all sorts of names, the classic runners high, meditation, a trance or all sorts of things, but if you've been there or done endurance sports you must know what I mean.  Is it just me or is this the core of what all of us get out there and sweat for? Now my task is not to name it or put it into a box, but to go out and find it again, I can't wait for my long run .............

Posted in Labels: , , |