Thursday, 2 June 2016

Global running day

Yesterday was global running day, an opportunity to encourage as many people as possible to get up, get out and get running all around the world.

While I was out on my global running day run, I got to thinking about how universal running is. In the modern world we think of running as being this competitive pursuit, winning and losing, times and distances. But in reality, running is something which the vast majority of us are, or should be capable of doing, an activity that to our ancestors was a daily necessity to survive.

Obviously we don't have the need to run to escape predators or to catch our dinner anymore, but running holds so many meanings and uses in the modern world. On yesterday's run I was thinking about what running gives me.

I realised that I use running to achieve a number of different things in my life. I know I'm never going to win any of the races that I enter, but this doesn't stop me fulfilling a competitive aspect of my personality. Whether the race is against myself or that person at parkrun who always seems to run the same sort of time as you.

I also use running because of the sense of well-being it evokes and internal sense of achievement. To run a marathon has been an ambition of mine since I first saw the London Marathon on TV when I was young. I remember thinking that the people who did it must be superhuman. What I realise now, is that most of those people weren't and aren't superhuman, they're people like me, who have put in the hours andmiles of training required to run such a long way. But there are also some that are superhuman.

The other and probably most important reason I run, is for my health. Both my mental and physical health are hugely improved thanks to running. Physically there are things that I used to struggle with, which I now complete with ease and mentally, running offers the opportunity to relax and contemplate issues going round my mind.

The great thing is, this is what running gives me, but it's an activity that gives each individual something different. Some get to enjoy the thrill of winning, some make new friends and see new places. But whatever your reasons are, just keep running!