I have found there to be an inextricable link between how I feel (emotionally, mentally, spiritual) and how much I exercise. When I moved to Colorado six years ago I quickly got into trail running, which has evolved into urban/street running here in Boston.
Good weeks and bad weeks have an eery correlation to how many runs I can get in.
Is the connection simply a matter of exercise versus no (or little) exercise? Or is there more to it than that? I’ve thought about this a lot, but a conversation I had on Sunday put words to a truth I had known but not been able to express.
I was talking to a visitor at REUNION who was in town to watch a friend run the Boston Marathon. We chatted for a while about running and I mentioned how I used to hate running. Even as a soccer player I struggled to find motivation to get out there and run. It wasn’t until I was about 26 that running even became remotely enjoyable (and a lot of that had to do with the beauty of Durango).
After I mentioned that my new friend said this: “Well, when you are younger, running is a struggle because we don’t like to be alone with ourselves for too long.”
Oh man! How true is that. And that put to words something I’ve been feeling for a while: running is not just good for me physically it provides one of the rare spaces where there is no phone, no music, no computer, no conversations, no books, no tv, no distractions.
Just me and myself. Just me and God.
More and more I see that people (of all ages) struggle with this. We are always “on”, we are always connected. We don’t like to be alone. We really don’t like to be alone with ourselves.
But my soul craves this space, and so I run not just to exercise but to get to know myself better, to disconnect, and hopefully to hear from God. That’s why I run.