Running Free

Running is a primal act.  Running with the elements drives me onward.  I love discovering my abilities and limitations in running.  Lately, running the trails in Alaska is an escape from the mundane and every day.  I run in local races too. The camaraderie is second to none.  As a community, runners are some of the friendliest people to be around.

Life struggles? Yea, I’ve had a few. Again, running has allowed me to maintain an upbeat mental attitude through most of my life.  My Achilles heel emotion, anger, is arrested by running.  The miles help make me easy of approach and light-hearted.  Running is like rinsing your brain under a cool mountain stream. It clears out all the detritus and cobwebs, realigns priorities and keeps your feet pointed down a path of good living.

Lately I’ve rediscovered my passion for running.  After a few years of coping out due to knee pain, I’m returning to the miles as therapy and stress relief.  I thought I was finished until my brother recommended I read “Born to Run”. The idea that running is a natural motion humans evolved to do over millions of years resonated with me.  In 2010 I resolved to learn how to change my running style and have been working on it ever since.

I now wear Vibram’s minimalist-style toe shoes and love running in them. I can do four miles at a time without pulling or stressing untrained muscles.  The training is slow going, as it should be, but I can run again.  I’m returning to the Good Animal I once was and will be again.

For those less inclined to run, walking is great and a needed step to run again.  Other cardiovascular activities like hiking, cycling, and swimming are also excellent forms of exercise and great for managing emotions.  I’ve read that depression (beyond the more severe types) can be treated effectively with consistent exercise, good nutrition, and plenty of positive support and social interactions.  The late Dr. George Sheehan wrote four of five solid books about the joys of running, often using great philosophers to support his views.

Best of luck in your walking and running pursuits.

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