Everyone knows about the runner’s high – that happy state of being you get from the endorphins while you run. But not everyone knows the other secrets known only to runners. This is what really keeps us coming back for more.
Runners know a feeling of freedom that non-runners don’t understand. When it’s just you, your footsteps, heartbeat and the wind in your face, you feel free. It is like a state of meditation.
Appreciation of nature
Trail runners love nature. Every week we get to see the beauty of the trees, the bird calls and all the animals – big and small – that we encounter. We appreciate their simple life. And we learn from it. This transfers into our everyday lives, and see can see the beauty all around us.
Pure intent and focus
Runners who regularly race, are always pushing themselves to run faster or further or both. We know that if we don’t run a certain number of kilometres or for a certain time in training, then we won’t be well prepared for our races. We learn this pure intent and focus in our running, and we know how to apply this drive to other areas of our lives. This makes us high achievers in all areas.
With running comes the risk of injury. At any one time, 50% of all runners are injured. We become acutely aware of what our bones, joints and muscles are feeling. When we are more in tune with our body, we also become more in tune with our mind. This teaches us to be more emotionally mature.
All runners have a sense of camaraderie. We all greet each other as we pass in the streets. We have a wide grin of enthusiasm as we pass on the trails. If it is a particularly wild and stormy day, we have that extra crazy grin of excitement as we pass another super enthusiastic runner. No matter what your experience or level is as a runner, we all support each other and wish each other well. We want everyone to succeed, and we do better because of this unconditional support.
Physical fitness is mental fitness
Because of our drive to succeed, and our pure intent and focus to train well, we learn quickly that running is 50% physical fitness and 50% mental fitness. Quite often in racing, when we are so fatigued we don’t know if we can finish, putting one foot in front of the other is a case of mind over matter. This gives us good training for the race of life and makes us a better person for it.
Runners know how to be a kid again and find fun in the small things. Making a big splash in a puddle, finding a new trail and going exploring, or simply getting sweaty and dirty without a care. This care-free attitude makes us fun people to be around.
If you are already a runner, then you already know these secrets. If you are not a runner, but would like to take up running, now you know why we really run, and why we keep on running week after week.
Featured photo credit: West Highland Way running / Robin McConnell via flickr.com