As I’m writing this, sweat is dripping from my body, my face is red, heart is pumping fairly quickly, and I’m jacked. It was a choice not to wait to write this later after the feeling had diminished. I’m writing this now so that I’m better able to describe the feeling in real time.
As a runner, sometimes I forget why I run. It’s not all about the physical activity. I get such a strong sense of empowerment and clarity when hitting the ground running (literally).
Nothing else makes me feel the way running does. In the last 30 years, I’ve taught every kind of fitness class there is. Sure, I feel amazing after a workout. Of course, when I do teach, I Love that those taking my class feel fabulous, and yet I have never felt the same rush as I do as when I’m running. Absolutely, the endorphins kick-in with other activities, but it’s not the same feeling.
Here’s the thing …
I don’t always feel great when I’m running. It’s tough. It’s psychologically tough to get out the door, even when I KNOW I’m going to feel great once I step outside. However, when I do get out there, I feel, every-single-time whether it’s a super tough run or I’m in the zone; I gain a sense of freedom from my mind.
Any sort of worry, concern, and/or challenges that I have going on, seem to disappear when I’m running. In that very moment I feel so sure of myself that I invite “all” to “bring life on. Give me what you’ve got.” Because at that very moment I feel invincible. I feel that I can handle anything. It’s a feeling of simplicity AND clarity at the same time. This isn’t a runner’s high. I’ve had runner’s high before and although it’s a fantastic feeling, it’s not the same. It’s also not a “Rocky” moment where I’m going into the ring. Not at all. It’s a feeling of, “I’m great. Life is great. I don’t need anything else.” And that, is such a good feeling.
It’s then, where I am so very grateful that I have my health, that I’m strong, and that I’m able to run. Because THAT does it for me.
What I also find incredibly interesting is how I feel when I don’t run. My mindset is different. It feels different to me. I feel draggy, even foggy.
What works for me and helps to set the tone for the kind of day that I want, is that I HAVE to exercise every morning. It’s a priority. This is a non-negotiable. The great thing about knowing oneself, is knowing what works. It’s so individual.
True, when I don’t run, the other forms of activity that I do leave me with a different kind of feeling, and, it’s still a great feeling. I’ll take it!
I look at it this way …. Sometimes you can get too much of a good thing. Feeling the way I do when running, when I run, is a great thing. It’s a bonus.
I’d like to leave you with this thinking, and invite you to check this out further if you’re interested. I’m positive you already know about the benefits of physical activity, and yet, interestingly, researchers at Oxford and Yale did a study of more than 1.2 million Americans. They discovered physical fitness is more important to your mental health than how much money you make. It plays into your emotional wellbeing.
As my sweat starts to dry, my face less red, and my breathing becomes relaxed … it’s now time to hit the showers.