When I started running again last year, I hadn’t realized that it would be the foundation of sanity in my life during a historic pandemic. During these times of considerable uncertainty– it’s essential to hold on to some sense of normalcy; this includes but is not limited to keeping a schedule, getting enough sleep, and of course, working out. But it’s this last part that I feel many of us overlook. Especially when we feel as though our lives are in “survival mode.”
I use to be a competitive (years ago). It was through the sport of running that I discovered the life lessons of adversity, patience, clarity, and even enlightenment. But the most important thing I found was a sense of calm that comes in the solitude moving footsteps. Anyone who runs will tell you that this sport is more than just a simple regimented activity. Most runners will introduce this activity as almost a path to enlightenment. And in a way — I have to agree. It’s deeply rooted in the evolution of human activity, and it’s one of the most basic of movements. Yet, the act of running itself is quite literally one of the most complex mixes of biological functions your body can do. So in a way– it’s one of the more beautiful things a human can participate in– because it doesn’t require anything more than the willingness to commit oneself. And for most of us — it comes naturally.
Running is beautiful because you don’t need anything more than a pair of shoes to start. It’s a sport that nearly everyone can participate in. It can be done by yourself or with friends. But most importantly, the act of running can add balance to your life. When you’re out there on the trails, your mind will begin to drift, and you’ll fall into a state of zen that is pretty amazing to experience. And right now, we could all use a little more zen in our life.
I would encourage you to get out there and start participating in the act of running (if you haven’t already). Keeping a healthy body and mind is essential right now. What feels like the end of the world can seem a little less intense after a few miles on the trails. Of course, be safe and steer clear of groups. But don’t let that stop you from getting in those miles. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel when you’re done. The hardest part is just getting out the door. But once you do — a few miles a day really can change your life.