Why I Run

I am not a runner.

It’s a crass phrase, but: I am built for comfort, not for speed.

I’m good at picking up heavy stuff, and punching things.

I am not a runner.

But this is exactly why I run.

Running frustrates me. I’m not fast, I complain a lot, running makes me very “phlegmy”, it ruins my feet. I do not enjoy running. I enjoy the feeling of having run, but that is different.

Physical exercise is important – everyone knows that. I’m bored of saying it as much as you’re all bored of hearing it (but here are a couple of articles if you want to know more…). But we thankfully have a broad spectrum of methods of exercise available to us – some of the more fun ones in my opinion are kickboxing and swimming, but hey, these look fun too.

My younger memories of running are pretty awful – in secondary school, because I was not popular, I didn’t really get a look in expressing a preference for participation in school sports days. If they’d have let me do the shot put, we would have killed it every year. But no – I got lumped doing the 1500m, i.e. the Four Laps Of Shame.

But things have been better since – I did the ol’ Race For Life 5k, but more than that I did a Spartan Sprint 2 weeks before my wedding. But then in some ways I’m more built for Spartans than I am for straight-up distance running – we didn’t really do much running in Spartan Sprint, but hey I am BOSS at pulling-a-massive-weight-on-a-pulley-until-it’s-at-the-top-of-the-thing, and drag-a-massive-lump-of-concrete-around-a-short-course, and at climbing-over-a-wall. So I would argue that was no more or less of a personal achievement than Race for Life.

So why run? Having said I am not a runner, that I’m not built for running, that I do not enjoy running…

I am not a natural runner. And that is EXACTLY why I run.

I find it very difficult, genuinely challenging, misery-inducing on particularly bad days, but when I’ve finished a run, I have beaten it, not let it beat me. For the heady minutes following a good run, I genuinely feel that having done that, I can do anything.

Because if you can master something you hate, you can do pretty much anything else.

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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