I have recently decided to refresh my feet (and fitness) and take up some running again, and I’m battling with the question of “Do I track my runs?” vs “Do I say I don’t give a crap how far/fast I run, and instead focus on just enjoying being outside”?
Exercise is a bit of a touchy subject for me at times. We have a love-hate relationship; I hate getting up early, and feeling sweaty and/or smelly, but I love that moment when the endorphins kick in and you feel completely badass. You think Red Bull gives you wings? Try back-to-back games of netball. Or cross fit. Or a spin class. Or yoga (I WISH I was more bendy!). The point is; as much as exercise has some sucky aspects to it (ugh, slimy sweat), its bloody good for you and can be very enjoyable and effective, provided you pick your method right.
Once upon a time, I used to be very fit.
When I say fit, I mean that I could run 10km in under an hour, about 50 minutes or so. While this is not particularly crazy-far, not fast, it was pretty damn good for me as a 17 year old.
I was not particularly healthy, and I was not particularly happy. I enjoyed running though; that gave me joy. It was a release from the gray-ness that I felt in normal life.
I ended up overdosing on it, I guess. I was compelled to run this distance every day, until one summer afternoon in late-2010 I just stopped. I stopped running, and when I did, the rest of my body woke up. I noticed normal things in daily life that I had overlooked in the past. I ate with greater abandon (gasp – carbs!), and I let the colour seep back into my life.
Now, as a 21 year old, I begin again my love affair with running. Few things are as calming or as challenging; you are your own pace keeper, and your own instructor. Its not hard, nor is it easy. I find it a very mental exercise, as I find my mind gives up before my body does. Conversely, I decide how long I will push my body; I don’t say that I will run until I cannot move, nor do I stop at the first sign of fatigue.
It’s a slow process, but I will get there. I will get back up to my 10km/hour, but this time when I do it, I will celebrate with the knowledge that I do it out of love for myself.