Monday, August 31, 2015

Thank God I can run

Life is definitely not a bed of roses, even the most hardcore optimist would have to accept that as fact.

It has its ups and downs. One time it's bright and sunny, the next its gloomy and filled with rain, both in the real and metaphorical sense. How much of one condition there is in one's life would naturally vary depending on one's disposition or outlook in life, but the fact remains that life is not really so much a plateau as it is undulating.

On certain moments, one experiences joy and ecstasy, on others, pain and agony. And just like situations in life could be positive and encouraging at one instance and  undesirable and damaging at another, people could be loving and grateful, just as much as they could be callous and thankless.

Family and friends - and faith too - help get us through all these. Runners, I believe, have the run as well, as a gift and a blessing, to help get them  through life's difficult times and to celebrate its wonderful moments when they come.

Like everyone else, I have had my moments of difficulties. In most of them, since I started running, doing a 10k or a longer run, helped me clear my mind of clutter and think better. Running, especially when done solo, and I always find it best to run by my lonesome before the sun rises, gives me time for personal reflection, my moment of silence and meditation, with only the rhythm of my breathing and the sound of my footfall to keep me company. It has worked for me, and it still does.

I don't always get an easy answer or find an immediate solution every time, some emotional burdens are heavier and take more time to deal with than others, but I somehow find solace in my running, some kind of comfort on the road or trail. I feel better about myself, more confident I could face whatever is before me.

Thank God I can run. Still.

P.S. Wondering why running (or any form of aerobic exercise) helps people think better? This article from Scientific American provides a good answer.