Running. I’ve hated it since I was a little kid. I mean…I know it is an essential part of many interesting and enjoyable sports. But the sole act of running, running as a sport…I don’ get it. Why the hell would anyone want to run without being chased by an angry mob of football fans or something. Where is the fun in running? There is the heavy breathing, like a chain smoker asthmatic climbing dusty attic stairs, there is the boring monotony of putting one foot in front of the other while ruining your knees for like half an hour or one hour or however long you usually torture yourself only interrupted by the sound of music coming from your iPod shuffle which stops you from falling to sleep from boredom. There is that smart inner voice telling you: “Oh come on, you’ve had enough, you cant run any longer, you don’t have to run any longer, just stop and walk. Why the hell do you have to do this, who is forcing you to?” And when you ignore all that and finish your run you get your final reward which makes it all worth it. You get….tadaaaa…. NOTHING!
The Fun Starts….Never
You sit on your mountainbike and sweat your way to the top of the hill. Then the fun part starts – you ride down a mountain singletrack. You push through fresh powder snow to the top of the mountain. Sweaty and exhausted. Then you strap in, drop in, and have a snowgasm. You paddle out, curse every whitewater line, get to the lineup, catch a wave and this is when the pure bliss starts. But running? You run and then you stop. That’s it. Where is the fun part? Well, there is none.
But I Feel Sooo Good After The Run…!
Yeah. Einstein. It’s called being tired after an exercise. Running has nothing to do with it. You feel good after almost every physical activity. Yes, even after those that are (gasp) actually fun.
I Can Think While I Run…
Good for you. I can think all day, I don’t need to go running to do that. Actually if you want to go all meditation and zen, then you want to choose a sport that clears your head of all thoughts. Meditation is absence of thoughts. So you want a sport that requires total concentration. When you can think of one thing and one thing only. No room for “I forgot to buy toilet paper…”. When you ride your mountainbike fast between the trees, it’s just you and the track in front of you. Total concentration. When I ride a wave someone could steal the beach away from the spot I am surfing and I wouldn’t notice. And so on. But unless you have two left legs or you have to remind yourself with breath in and breathe out not to run out of air, running does not require concentration. Your mind is free to wonder, your brain is trying to fight the boredom and save your body from the tumble and bruises that would follow your falling asleep so you start to think. And get home more nervous than when you left.
There are more reasons runners will try to persuade you into believing that running is a cool sport but as I listen to them most of the reason have nothing to do with running itself. It’s fine that you like nature, fresh air, exercise, being fit, loosing weight, being alone etc… there are just so many fun ways to experience all that, you really don’t have to run (blah).