Guest blog by Harold Shaw
As a veteran runner I thought it would be a good idea to make a list of the things I love about running.
Hopefully this list can inspire others to start running as a hobby.
Here Are My Ten Things I Love About Running:
- Running clears my head and keeps me closer to “normal” whatever normal is. I go run when life gets tough, like it did when my dad was in the hospital recently. It gives the stress someplace to go productively, instead of food, booze or taking it out on other people. Going for those runs made it so that I was still someone people wanted to be around and I didn’t go down a dark path, which many people do in those situations.
- Running gets me out of the house, so that my wife doesn’t encourage me to go back to work. Since we have retired TheWife has been very supportive of my running lifestyle, but at time it becomes rather expensive and from time-to-time she hints that it might be time to look for a part-time job, if I want to continue running or start racing again.
- Running is mostly responsible for my loosing 30 plus pounds and 6 inches off my waist since last June. When I am actively running, I look at food and exercise differently than when I am not. I am much more aware of what I fuel my body with versus just eating.
- Through Running I have gotten to meet a lot of great people both online and face-to-face, that otherwise wouldn’t have been a part of my life.
- Running gives me confidence to do more than I think I can – what was once difficult is now routine. That little hill on the circle that I had a hard time walking up last June, is now at the end of most of my workouts and I practice “kicking” up that little hill almost every day. I am more willing to step out of my comfort zone and try things that I might otherwise walk away from a good example of this is my involvement with #FitFluential.
- Running helps me break through expectations and stereotypes – I am an older guy with gray hair who has retired, therefore according to the old stereotypes I am supposed to be sitting in my easy chair, drinking beer and doing nothing but watching the games on TV. I prefer to be a participant, not a spectator and when I run I am. I become that crazy old bastard down the road who is always outside either walking his dog or running.
- Running has given me a focus for my blog “A Veteran Runnah” and gives me plenty to write about. I love to write and while my blog is just a personal blog I do take pride in what I write here, the ability it gives me to put my thoughts out there and possibly have others respond to them.
- Running is never the same – no run is exactly the same, even if it is the same course. The weather has changed, what you are thinking about changes, whether you are with someone or not, there are far too many variables for any run to be exactly like one before it or how it will be tomorrow. That is why I think many runners can run the same courses over and over without being bored about where they are running.
- Running allows me to get outdoors, to enjoy and see the variety of life. I run through different neighborhoods, roads, to the many trails and the many things that I have seen on these runs are: amazing, awe-inspiring or eye candy, while other things were shameful or things I never hope to see again, but if I had not been running, I would not have seen what I saw.
- Most of all after running for over 40 years, running is a part of who I am, running is not just something I do.
The Reality Is That
Since my return to running after a long absence, (due to a non-running related injury), I really appreciate running so much more than I had in the past – when I just took being able to run for granted. Before this injury running was something that I was always able to do, pretty much whenever I wanted to do it. This last period of not being able to run when I wanted to, really changed my perspective on what running means to me.
Hell I am even moving to more minimal footwear and trying hard to change my running form, back to the how I ran in the dark ages of the 80′s (yes forefoot striking)…which is a huge step for me.
We originally posted this earlier this week and didn’t realize we were giving credit to the wrong author. Post has since been updated to properly credit Harold Shaw for his work. For more from Harold, check out his blogs Aging Runnah (since retired) and Harold’s Running Chronicles (his current one).