Fulfillment

This is Why I Still Prefer To Run

This is why I still prefer to run, even if it takes longer.

A blog post I read recently made this smart recommendation: Replace jogging outdoors with an indoor body weight routine to maximize weekday productivity.

I understood the merit of doing this, but it wasn’t enough to make me agree. Indoor burpees might be as effective, but it can’t replace the thrill running brings me.

I remembered this thought this morning when I went for a run and noticed morning sunlight washing over a row of low bush yellow flowered plants. I’ve seen the same sunlight, leaves, trees, and flowers each time I walk down the same street. Yet, it never looks the same.

A new day means a new story. A new day means seeing the same old bush and bird with new eyes. I might have seen the same leaf yesterday, but its beauty is not the same today… not quite sure why. All I know is this mysterious, never-ending novelty is priceless and worth experiencing, even if it takes extra minutes from my day.

Running outdoors gives me the chance to experience the living poetry that only nature can give.

Indoor burpees, no matter how well executed, can’t do the same.

Whether you agree or not, it’s a good time to pause and ask yourself the why behind your workout.

Do you exercise to look good? Or is there something else you’re after?

Looking good is not a bad goal. It’s human. A marvelous feature of who we are as human beings is our appetite for beauty. But fitness can also be about more than just how it makes us look.

Replay in your memory the last time you went for a good run…

Ok, maybe getting out the door was a real battle. Everything inside felt pulled towards staying in, snacking, and soaking up the Netflix’s latest series. When you finally got yourself out the door, the first 15 minutes is painstakingly uncomfortable. A real struggle to put one foot in front of the other. Then, as the 15 became 20, and the 20 became 30, something else took over. You got caught up in an invisible net of motion that makes you forget where you are and how much time has passed. Before you know it, you’re no longer waiting for the next 0.5 km announcement from your gadget trainer.

When we get to this point during a run. It’s exhilarating.

We soak in the speed of our bodies, the breeze, the sunlight, the sense of accomplishment that increases every time our gadgets announce we’ve completed a kilometer. We feel empowered and graceful as our strides take on a life of their own.

And, as the kilometers go by, the ideas come. New connections, potential projects, sometimes, life-changing inspiration, and an inexplicable awareness that everything around is more beautiful than when we first stepped out of the door.

This is a kind of poetry in motion., burpees and planks can’t give. The inspiration and beauty that flows from a good run outdoors is what makes those extra minutes more than worth it.

Same goes with life.

There are experiences that take much more time, but in the long term, feed us on deeper levels. Stuff Things like: A deep conversation. A 500 page classic novel. A week away from devices and social media. An hour spent in meditation. Lingering, long lunches.

The point is, the value of what we do isn’t only about how long it takes. It’s about the kind of energy that it breathes into us.

Efficiency makes us feel productive, which is good. But productive only makes us look good on the outside.

Is this really all we’re after?

 

 

About the Contributor

Simone Lorenzo teaches undergraduate theology and interdisciplinary studies at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Her two graduate degrees reflect her eclectic interests: an M.T.S. from the John Paul II Institute in Washington, D.C., and an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from the National University of Singapore. When she isn’t writing, teaching, or sitting in Manila’s notorious traffic jams, she enjoys baking, running, and spending time with family and friends. She publishes articles once in a while for aleteia (http://aleteia.org/author/simone-lorenzo/) and blogs at Eavesdropping on Athena.

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One Thought

  1. Nina says:

    Good article on running. You pretty much sum up why I like running outdoors vs gym work-outs (though yoga and self defense classes are exceptions to the rule for me)