Why We Run

Why do you run? What keeps you from stopping? What makes you want to stop, stay in or slack off?


I run because I have asthma - if I don't exercise regularly, my asthma symptoms get worse. (I can also use drugs to control my asthma, which I do, but the exercise staves off the symptoms so that I take less medicine.)

I run to keep generally fit. My immune system seems to be vastly improved compared to before I ran: I have only had one cold that kept me off work in the last three years. I've lost weight, and fit into my old clothes again.

I run to be prepared. The Scouting motto is "Be prepared" - which while I was enjoying all the other fun of being a Scout, I took to heart. I have a commemorative 50p coin with that motto on it, which I always keep: 50p won't buy much these days, but it'll get me a phone call. And if I know I can always get up and run a few dozen miles if I have to, then I'm prepared for most emergencies - along with all the other first aid training and wood craft I picked up when I was Scouting.

I run to clear my head. Running uses very little brain power, but it bombards you with sensations - the feeling of your breath, legs, feet; the sight and sound of the world moving past. It's rather like meditating: you put your brain in neutral. I find I think of all sots of unconnected things while I'm running - they just float up to the surface while I'm busy pushing the road past.

I run because running makes us human. I run to pay tribute to my ancestors (no, don't roll your eyes at that - it'll make sense in a minute), whose hunting kills from their running hunts allowed a respite from the drudgery of survival, so that they could think and innovate - and ultimately invent agriculture, which in turn allowed me to choose to vegetarian. Having that choice is a privilege - so I run to salute their efforts to allow me to make that choice, however roundabout it was.

It's hard to find the motivation to run for many people. I keep running because of all those reasons.

Sometimes I don't want to run. I miss a day now and then. Usually it's because other demands got in the way - I was dealing with a client at the time I'd usually go running, or I was travelling - but sometimes it's because I'd rather have a glass of wine and watch Big Bang Theory or QI, or write notes for more gaming material.

But my first reason always brings me back: I run because running makes me better.

I know that's a reason most people don't have, so, I'd like to throw it open to you lot who read these ramblings:

  • Why do you / did you want to run?
  • What makes you want to stop, stay in, or slack off?
Answers in the comments, please!

1 comment:

  1. Great post, and I will reply just as soon as I get off my phone and back to my PC.