Why I Like Running
I’ve been an off and on jogger for the last 2 years, but my goal is to be a jogger for the rest of my life. For some reason I’ve felt compelled to journal my reasons. If one person thinks to take up jogging, then that would be wonderful.
The Oatmeal made a fantastic comic of his reasons for running and found that there’s a lot of overlap. Of course I don’t run ultra marathons, nor have I been running for a decade, but I find this comic inspirational and I look at it every couple months. Please read his comic, it’s that good!
- Growing up as a chubby person I can identify with the Blerch.
- I definitely look at running as an asset to my eating balance sheet. Dieting makes life more complex so I choose the simple approach of not being picky about what I eat. If it’s unhealthy, then I try to control my portion size.
- My expectations around how I’ll look are realistic. It’s that I love how I feel when I’m running. My waistline may not change but I have become comfortable with my body when I run. If that starts meaning more to me then I’ll add other forms of exercise to my routine.
One of my favourite talks is by Rich Hickey, called Simple Made Easy. It’s funny that I associate a software talk with life habits rather than software. I use running to explain the concepts to people that confuse the term simple and easy. The simplicity of running is a major reason I like it so much. There’s very little in the way of dependencies that you need. A decent pair of shoes is pretty much it, and perhaps climate appropriate clothing. The only thing stopping you from doing it is your own will power. Making it harder is simply a matter of adding distance. It’s liberating to not own expensive equipment or have a contract with some sleezy gym. I can just put on my shoes and run.
I used to wonder if I exercised more when I was in a good mood, or if I got into a good mood after exercise. My personal anecdotal experience is that people used to notice my changed mood and would ask “did you work out, you’re behaving… a bit too happy”. This has added benefits to my work and my learning. This is backed up by science in the class I took called: Learning how to Learn (I did a book review for it too)
Encourages Good Behaviour
When I make a running goal I become very disciplined around good habits. I signed up the Berlin Half Marathon and I’m much more inclined to not have a 2nd beer in the evening getting up at 6am has becoming easier and easier. I’ve signed up for the James Clear newsletter and one article really struck home with me as I build up habits. I now know that I need to avoid the Second Mistake otherwise my habit will fall apart. This gives me the allowance to miss a run and not feel like a complete failure. Instead my mind switchs to the thought that I MUST not miss my next run. It sounds so simple and I can’t believe I never noticed this before in my behaviour. My habits drop when I make my second mistake consistently. Again, I like how this concent is backed up by science. Armed with this I intend to be an off-and-on runner no more!
It’s odd, but the health aspects of running are a secondary benefit to me. Though a potentially real good one. Then again, most of the other benfits of running are also healthy. Let’s just say that my aim with running is not to be skinnier and athletic, though I won’t complain if those things happen as a result of running.
The Only Social Media Spam I Always Like
We all complain about the huge amount of information that comes our way. From baby pictures, wedding pictures, or political kibitzing, our mood affects how we ingest these pieces. For me, I can safely say that I LOVE it when people post their fitness accomplishments. It comes across as encouraging. So I have to shout out a big thank you to Hiyasmin for catalyzing this new hobby of mine. Another thank you goes to the South Africa crew (pictured below) who egged me on to join a trail run series. If you wish to give me encouragement, please add me on Strava.
People I know that run off the top of my head:
- Derek H
All of you, please keep pushing me! :-)
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