The many lockdowns of this pandemic have driven lots of us to pick up a new physical activity, be it cycling, hiking or zoom yoga, but for me, it was running.
Whilst the physical benefits of running are well-known, it wasn’t a driving force in my case. My need to lose weight is zero and my overall wellbeing is in pretty good shape. Every other perk was nice to read about, but didn’t make the decision for me. My only reason to choose this solitary sport was for my head.
Now, I don’t have any great intentions of becoming the fastest in the park or the first in my family to run a marathon, just having the knowledge that I’m able to run 5km is fine with me. Knowing that I have the physical ability to move my body for an extended period of time without quitting is the biggest upside of this activity for me.
Running, like any sport, is something that you have to make time for. You wake up before anyone else to make sure that you get the miles in and start your day the way you want to. But running is something that also gives you time. It allows you to take yourself away from the stresses of daily life and be out in nature, giving you time to reflect, to plan, to put things into perspective. Yes, it can take you away from other people, briefly, but it also brings you closer to yourself. You begin to understand your body, its strengths, its weaknesses and its limitations. Forcing you to face these problems head on and go through them, understanding and constantly improving your abilities.
All in all, running, for me at least, gives me more than it takes away. Yes, it is hard to begin with and so far, I’ve found it to get no easier, but is it worth it, one hundred percent.
Written by Tom Loughran Photos by Scarlett Stevens