Running: A love, hate, love again relationship

For years I told myself, and any one who would listen, that I HATED running.

As a child you run everywhere! In the corridor at school, around the park, down the aisles at the supermarket and you do it with no inhibitions. Then at some point, for some reason, that innate feeling of needing to run absolutely everywhere stops. George Bernard Shaw has a fairly famous quote "We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing". I think the same can be said for running.

My dislike of running stems from secondary school and not being "as good" as others in the school and also being told this in no uncertain terms by a teacher. So, as a teenager, and wanting to protect my ego, I stopped running. I wasn't even running to try and get any better at it, I just did it to be fitter and healthier, but I changed my approach from that point onward with what I would do to keep active. How silly, right? Stopping doing something you enjoy because you are told you aren't good enough or perhaps don't feel like you are good enough either.

Fast forward a few years and being invited to join in with 5km charity runs abd being asked if you are doing X or Y 12km fun run. My go to respond "I'm not a runner, I hate running".

All that changed again when I read the book "Born to run" by Christopher McDougall. An incredible story of the Tarahumara tribe in Central America. Why did Homo Sapiens evolve when the Neanderthals didn't? Because we could run, and run for a long time, for long distances. The book has a number of other fascinating rabbit holes to delve deep in to including barefoot running vs running in the latest scientifically engineered shoes. I was reading the book on my Honeymoon in Tropical North Queensland and the next day decided I'd go for an early morning jog along 4 Mile Beach, Port Douglas (it really was a jog, having not done any kind of cardio exercise for about 15 years).

I loved every moment of that first jog, whether that was because of the mindset I found myself in going out; just married, expecting our first child, the idyllic location, the smells, sounds, colour of the Pacific Ocean, close to The Great Barrier Reef, or something else.

From that point on I haven't looked back and I genuinely can't wait to run. I plan my routes in advance and enjoy working out what I want to see on my run, do I go to foreshore and run by the river, do I run along the coast, do I go around one of the lakes - the options are endless. There's also the odd occasion where I feel like I am having to force myself out, I simply don't go! I don't want to resent the run and turn myself against it.

So, if you had a bad experience, or have some negative thoughts associated with something from your youth, I'd say perhaps now is the time to give it a second chance.

Until next time


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