Running Themes


I recently had reason to look back on my past and to try to sequence some of the events of my life that led me to be where I am today. I was surprised at the effort that it took to order my thoughts and to string them together into a cause-and-effect narrative. I was also surprised to discover how certain running themes came into my life around the same time.

No pun intended, running was one of them.

I was a little bit surprised to realize this. And then I was surprised at my surprise: running was something that I’d started because I had something to prove and had continued because it helped me to control my weight and now used as a coping mechanism to fight off stress and depression. It also turned out that I kinda enjoyed it, but I never would have described it as a significant element of my personality. A foolish sentiment in retrospect: it is clearly as much a part of my personality as filmmaking and artwork and contingency planning and periodic bouts of emotional insecurity.

Today I ran in the evening instead of the morning. Morning running may calm my nerves, but evening running really seems to bring out the joy. In spite of the heat and in spite of the humidity and in spite of a day spent running errands and working on production until I broke a sweat I the run seemed to set me free. And this was running: not quite a flat out sprint, but definitely faster than my average morning jog.

This production has definitely had the unintended consequence of raising my athleticism to a level that I haven’t experienced in years. Looking back on my progress chart of goals for the year I can see the sudden uptick in running begin right at the start of the summer. Running suddenly graduated from a recreational weekend activity to a near-daily occurrence. I’ve trimmed nearly ten minutes off my time and lost about seven pounds.

I just wish that I didn’t feel like I was running from something.

I know that if it weren’t for the fear of becoming overwhelmed by the shadow of production demands that I wouldn’t feel this same compulsion to run every day. While I certainly appreciate having motivation it’s a little discouraging to think that it is rooted in fear instead of joy: that I am running because it helps me to deal with something else in my life instead of just enjoying it for its own sake. Maybe running is my early warning sign that something else in my life needs to be addressed. I suppose that as compulsive habits go it is better than drinking or binge eating or what have you.

Anyway, it seems to help and I’m enjoying it.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on July 25, 2015.

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