8 Ways Running Saved My Life
On a more positive note from yesterday I want to talk about running and how it probably has saved my life in many ways. I think this post is important as I’ve been struggling with motivation over the past week, averaging only a few miles a day but those miles matter and here’s fucking why.
- Running has opened up spirituality in me to a sense – Well at least compassion for animals. It’s best exemplified by my post about the horse. I’m not religious but I am stupefied by the scale of the Universe and when I focus on fucking big it is and how small I am, my mind slows down and that’s good. I am less interested in the question “where are you going after death?” and more “who were you 15 minutes before your dad left one up your ma?”. I was no-one then and I’m gonna be no-one soon so why not be anyone now?
- It’s made me way less angry – Running gave me a focus to channel any anger I have into. Before I was prone to lashing out whilst drunk and that’d lead to sadness and regret which only made me drink more which lead to more sadness and regret which led me creeping back into defiance and “I’m not such a bad person” and therefore more lashing out and drinking and sadness. If I’m angry now I’ll release it in a healthy way. Shouting abuse at a duck or something.
- It’s widened my perspective by allowing me to travel the world – And it gave me a legitimate reason to visit new places instead of my usual excuse of “to party”.
- It helped me stop drinking – One morning in November 2015 I ran around Tottenham clutching my liver after a week spent drunk in Tenerife. It was miserable. I felt on the edge of death. No hope. Only anger and sadness. It gave me enough perspective to think “why the fuck are you doing this to yourself?” “can you see what your doing to yourself?” “what would the young you think about you? You hated those who boozed around you as a kid.”. The run itself was slow and shitty but it provided an awakening that allowed me to change course quite drastically.
- It helped me meet people – Before, my only means of meeting new people involved randomly corner strangers in a bar after I’d had about 10 pints. The people I meet now are similar to me and I’m not left cringing about drunken exchanges.
- It’s given my days structure – Even though I’m only running a few miles each day at the moment it still really helps to put some time into running as it gives me insight into my life that I wouldn’t otherwise have. This is important if you’re freelancing as the temptation can be to have an empty day where you achieve nothing.
- It helped me discover my purpose in life – And that’s to talk about mental health issues from a fitness perspective and how any personality defects that we have (like an addictive personality) can be considered a benefit if we channel our energies in the right way.
- It’s given me a grasp over my anxiety – Now if I’m anxious I’ll go for a run to the hills to purge myself of the poison of anxiety.