The Power of Running

One of my favorite things about running is the power that it has to transform.  The obvious way is the power to transform in a physical way.  Run far enough and often enough, and you can’t help but notice the changes in your body.  Running makes me feel strong, which is much more powerful than feeling skinny.

For me, though, the true power of running is the ability that it has to transform me in an emotional way.  This morning’s run was a perfect example of that.

I am a teacher, which means that I have enjoyed a lovely break from work over the past two weeks.  I know that I am more fortunate than most in that regard, and yet, all yesterday I was feeling grouchy when I thought of returning to work today.  It’s not that I dislike my job.  It’s just that I would rather not have to work at all.  Anyway, I was feeling grumpy about returning to work, and on top of that, neither of my kids slept much last night, which meant that neither my husband nor I did as well.  So when I woke up this morning, there were many logical reasons for me to be unhappy.

Fortunately for me, the very first thing that I did was to go for a run.  The run itself was nothing special – just three miles on my treadmill in my basement.  It gave me an opportunity to work through my thoughts, however, and even more so, I finished my run feeling a great sense of accomplishment, as I usually do after any run.  All of this before 6:00 in the morning.  As a result, I finished getting ready for work in a much better mood than I could have predicted.  Even better, I had a great first day back.

I’ve taken several courses on statistics and I know that cause and effect are rarely that simple – I’m not naive enough to assume that my whole day was great simply because I ran this morning.  I do know, however, that going for a run almost always makes my day better.  And for me, starting my day with a run does not guarantee a great day, but it does get my day off to a great start.  It makes it that much easier to roll out of bed well before dawn each morning when my alarm sounds.

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