Running isn’t just torture

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Running is something I have done regularly since I was 16. Whether it be in the gym, around the country side or in the city, I’ve always gone for runs (more or less) regularly.

So…. How can I like something that most people see as a) an awful torture that they would never participate in or b) something that they are forced to do when they want to lose weight?

I recently read Haruki Marukami’s book, What I talk about when I talk about running, and I think he pretty much nails it when explaining a lot of the reasons that people run for.

Here are my three main reasons for loving running, along with some quotes from the wonderful Haruki too:

  1. Strength

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I’m not the fastest runner and I’m probably not going to be running any sorts of crazy distances, but feeling like I’m blasting down the road (and over taking a few people while I do so) makes me feel like … a… BADASS.

I love the feeling of pushing my limits and feeling physically strong as I do so. We all know that women are so often expected to look pretty and gentle; there’s something liberating about sweating like a pig, with pit stains, no make-up and an awfully unfashionable neon backpack.

“I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.” 
― Haruki Murakami

  1. Calm

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I think most people would agree that living/working in London is not always the calmest of existences.

Between working, commuting, my phone and my laptop, my brain is usually always slightly buzzing.

Running, on the other hand, makes me feel calm.

I’m not saying I completely switch off (I have been known to send a sneaky snapchat while out on a run) but I do always tend to reach a point where the main thing I am thinking about is a) breathing and b) continuing to put one foot in front of another. For me, that is calming and allows me to disconnect from the day to day for a short time.

“When I’m running I don’t have to talk to anybody and don’t have to listen to anybody. This is a part of my day I can’t do without.” 
― Haruki MurakamiWhat I Talk About When I Talk About Running

 

  1. People

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I love people watching while I run, which is probably why I prefer running in the city over the countryside.

I’m probably just completely nosy, but I love seeing people walking their dogs, or walking home from work or walking around in the morning. I also think running is a wonderful way to discover a city.

The thoughts that occur to me while I’m running are like clouds in the sky. Clouds of all different sizes. They come and they go, while the sky remains the same sky as always. The clouds are mere guests in the sky that pass away and vanish, leaving behind the sky.”
Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

 

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