Last Thanksgiving I wrote a post about how I fended off the H1N1 virus with a massive dose of running. Swine flu had made its way into our household and I was the last person standing. I escaped unscathed and proclaimed the medical wonder of running. Well, I’m back to tell you more about the wonders of running. Running is not only a great benefit to your physical health, it can boost your mental health as well. I realize I am preaching mostly to the choir, but for those of you who are not runners, listen up.
Over the last few weeks, the family has been dealing with some stuff. The family unit itself is fine – the stuff is external. This stuff has placed an immense amount of pressure on both me and the wife. It ain’t fun, and quite honestly it tests the sanity. I have felt myself going from angry to depressed to unsure and back again quite rapidly with nobody to direct those feelings toward. Interspersed with occasional bouts of thankfulness that I am not in the rubble of Haiti or Chile, or on the streets of Kabul, it can feel like a roller coaster. Compound that with a mild case of “When the Frak is Spring Gonna Get Here”itis and you can see how this might bring a person down.
When this stuff started, I didn’t run. I moped. I sagged. Granted, it was two, maybe three days that I didn’t run, but man did I feel it.
I. Was. Down.
Every minor, daily setback felt a thousand times worse.
The moment my feet felt the impact of a running stride however, the stress melted away. Albeit for only the duration of the run, but how blissful I felt as I ran and ran and ran. Had I not needed to get up early the next morning, I may have run all night.
Running is a stress reliever. It has been proven. It is a fact. Over the past 12 days I have run 9 times, all of which were over 6 miles, most being at least 10 miles long. Much like I did while fending off the pigs, I have prescribed a massive dose of running to keep me healthy and more importantly, happy. It’s working. After initially feeling down, I have worked my way back to happy (turns out that’s my job here), and all of those things that were bringing me down earlier, don’t seem quite as bad. Are the stressful things any less stressful? Heavens no! However, the drug that is running is working it’s magic. I generally feel pretty good, and my outlook on the future is fairly bright.
One’s attitude can shape how future events play out. A happy approach to life generally leads to happy results in life. So if you’re feeling down and out and life is getting to you, go out for a run, or at least a brisk walk. The endorphins will do more than any drug or alcoholic beverage can do, AND you’ll be just that much healthier for it.
So while stress is high, I continue to run…and run…and run.
It’s working for me.