Of course I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t love running. I love the outdoors, the training, the sense of adventure when racing ultra’s. And after running for a lot of years, you could also say I’m an addict. I need the adrenaline, endorphins and everything else. But there are two reasons that are more fundamental to who I am as a person and why running helps.
When I start running, the first 30 minutes are juist about the running itself. My body needs to get into it, get into the flow. So in this first 30 minutes I’m watching my posture, looking at my cadence, making sure I’m breathing correctly. In these 30 minutes my body relaxes more and more and things start to go by themselves, no more need to concentrate on things.
After those 30 minutes my mind wonders and I’m in puzzle solving mode. They are the day to day or work related things I want to solve. It can be an argument with the kids or Irma, it can be a problem at work, it can be an idea for a presentation, anything at all. My mind goes all sorts of ways, but in the end the puzzle is solved. I know what went wrong in the argument, I solved the problem at work, I have a good idea for the presentation, etc. and so on. My mind relaxes.
That almost zen mode of clear thinking doesn’t happen with me by just sitting in a chair, thinking about things. I need to be moving my body, preferably with an easy run for longer periods of time. I mentally get frustrated or better get mentally stuck when I don’t run.
I actually think I dream less when I run more. I process things during running so no need to process things while sleeping.
The second reason why I run is partly related to the first, but is a reason on its own as well. I have ADHD tendencies with an emphasis on the H. Although not officially diagnosed, Irma is a psychologists and we did a couple of tests. Let’s say I’m on the spectrum.
One of my coping mechanisms is making sure my body had enough movement and therefore is tired. When my body is tired, I can relax more. I can sit still longer, my mind doesn’t race and I can be relaxed. I can actually sit really still instead of fidgeting with stuff (my hair, a pen, or whatever I can get a hold of).
…is not really an option, or better said, has some challenges for me. I have notices this especially in the last couple of weeks as I’ve been injured and now recovering. In this period I’ve biked, but that doesn’t give me the same satisfaction. And it has been a challenge even more now with the coronavirus and sitting indoors as much as possible. My coach (Danielle Snyder) really helped me get through this by the way.
Why do you run?