January 07, 2009

Why do I Run?

Every passionate long distance runner on earth would, some(many)time in his/her life, be asked this question-
Why do you have to run such long distances? What is in it for you?

I've been a victim of this kind of a question many a time till date. The most interesting came after my Singapore marathon...and it was-
Why did you have to go all the way to Singapore spending thousands of rupees to just run 42 and odd kilometers? You could have done it in the very place you reside, right?

I could not resist a chuckle when people asked this question. Nevertheless, this question has always managed to set my thoughts reeling. Hence I thought of putting these recurring thoughts in black and white.
In today's fast moving world, one hardly gets time to think about day to day routines. More than often, we end up doing something because we are used to doing it that way. The reason for us doing this is predominantly the fact that the conscious mind concentrates on the main task while giving the subconscious mind the responsibility of doing these mundane tasks.
And because of various reasons, the conscious mind gets loaded with a whole slew of new tasks, that the older tasks get moved into the subconscious mind. This cycle of the mind's working has taken off the comfortable cushion space to think differently and be innovative.
This is the reason the mind starts to get dull and loses the enthusiasm to do anything. I had experienced such a state many a time in the past (before I took up running). That's when I was thinking and realized that -
We work so hard for name, fame and money to eventually be happy. But over a period in time we realize that we've done everything but being happy

Why does this happen? It's simply because the mind has become duller and has lost that glow. A mind that has continuously engaged itself in chasing goals, tends to miss out recognizing achievements. This tendency results in the lack of happiness (as, you always keep feeling "I've not accomplished anything").
Running is something that came by just in time for me. Though it sounds like just a physical activity, Running is a gift in different ways. Running is one single activity, doing which can give you the following benefits - all in one shot! -
  • An excellent physical exercise - Shorter your Waistline, Longer your Lifeline!
  • Rejuvenates the mind - More oxygen to the brain, more active it gets!
  • Cleaner and Fresher skin - Sweat gets the darn dirt out of the skin pores! An increase in metabolism will result in fresh skin faster!
  • Stronger legs and back - This greatly helps us stay fit (if your work is in front on a computer, you would appreciate the value of a strong back!)
  • Staying closer to nature - What can be better than an early morning run? Hearing the birds chirp and smelling the fresh air...it's Bliss!
  • Run your errands - I sometimes shop during my run...Yes! I'm not joking! Ain't it a healthy way to shop?
  • Travel and see places - What better excuse can one get to travel to different places to run half or full marathons? It's fun!
  • Meet people and network - Running on the roads around your place, you are sure to bump into many of your neighbors and exchange a casual HI! Joining running clubs can give you the best experience of networking!
  • A feeling of achievement - Running past people with large waistlines, seeing your waistline reduce after some consistent running, finishing longer distances and marathons, etc can give you a sense of accomplishment. Doing two kilometers more or doing a distance faster than before, can fill you with great pride! You don't have to wait for a job promotion or a salary hike!
  • Tunes the mind to fight longer battles - Running long distances can impact the mind to persevere and fight the long drawn battles at work and personal life. It fills you with grit and determination!
What more could I ask for? Would you say NO to a cartload of gifts packed in one neat package? Ain't this a good reason to run? So, to you, here is my advise - Step out and start running! Fuel your creativity and innovation....and you are sure to be a winner for life!

Happy Running! Stay Inspired!
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