running

In my last post I mentioned my newly found appreciation of good and healthy food. Today I want to start sharing my thoughts on exercising on a regular basis and more to the point running as my no# 1 choice of exercise simply because its quite a similar journey, it is a newly found appreciation of running.

I’ve run all my life. I’ve never run with a massive emphasis on performance though. The only time I ran competitively was when I was in high school and I don’t think I ever won anything for doing so. Maybe I was just not that good. I know for sure I was not that interested in winning. Is this a bit like the question what came first, the chicken or the egg? Was I never competitive because I knew I wasn’t good enough to win? Or was I good enough but never had the support, training, heart, mind etc. to do what’s necessary to be good at running?

Well, I was good enough to pass the entry exam of a very elite Sport Science College without any major effort. In college I quickly found myself majoring in exercise programs for people with health problems. The sociology and psychology of sports were subjects that really intrigued me. I learned that focusing on performance in sport is probably one of the most off putting things you can do if you want to encourage the less sporty person to get active and engage in exercise. Knowing this made me appreciate my ‘non-competative’ stance on exercising.

So while I could go on a bit further on my insights regarding providing exercise programs for people with health problems I want to fast forward many, many years to about a 5 year ago when my personal journey pretty much stopped me exercising all together. My life changed, my focus changed and as a result I gave up my weekly exercises completely.

It wasn’t a conscious choice. It just happened that way. After about a year I started to notice changes in my overall fitness, in my strength and though I made a few attempts to return to regular exercises I had lost the routine. So I would let’s say get back into exercising for a few weeks, maybe a month or two even and then stop again. And all the while my physical fitness slowly but surely slipped away too.

And then about two and a half years go I started a photo project I called ‘same old shot different day’. I have blogged about it before. For this project I return to a particular place on the hill behind our house to snap a photo. It’s always the same shot, the only thing that changes is the weather and I suppose, me! For I am in all of the shots.

For this project I had to walk up the hill, sometimes every day, sometimes I went every other day sometimes a week would go by without me going. But it did get me going. At first I just walked the familiar paths in the forest and then started to explore other routes. My walking distances would increase. And eventually, a little over a year ago I started to run the shortest route to ‘my spot’ and back.

I’ve been running the hill 2-3 times a week ever since. Sometimes I run more, sometimes less. I’m using a phone app to log my runs. So I know I’ve run 990 km in 2014.

Why do I run?

I know it’s good for me, for my health.
I enjoy running outdoors. I love seeing life all around me when I run through a deserted forest or on an empty beach. I feel alive!
Running represent a personal victory for me.

Sometimes I am contemplating taking part in a race as an act of celebration. Just to finish a race would be what I’d set out to do. I don’t know when I will do that. For now I settle for writing about running, about my running here. I blog about my running because it helps me to keep motivated. It’s my way of saying, I did it. Why do I have to tell anyone? I suppose it’s because celebrating on your own is very quiet and solitary and not enough to keep me going. It used to be the same old shot different day photo that got me out. I hope blogging about my running will be like that, too.

This photo was taken 2 years ago. It’s not the first in the series and I’ve lost count of how many I have taken since I started the project.

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