I have been running for a long time now. The more I participate in it, the more I realise it can’t be looked at as an isolated aspect of my, or any other runners, life. It might sound heavy, complicated and most likely over the top but life is running and running is life. In this post I will look at the way running stands as a superb life metaphor for me and most probably any other individual involved at any degree with the activity/sport/passion/life style.
I have meet some amazing people through running. I always feel like runners are very connected in a way and have an understanding of each other. Most of my best friends are through running and I am beginning to notice one common denominator – loyalty. Runners are incredibly loyal. I suppose if you are crazy enough to be loyal to a sport such as running then being loyal to a friend is not really an issue. Anyway, a very influential friend that I made through running; Sarah Christie (an amazing runner, mother and overall beautiful person) used to inform me of the noblest, most influential impact Dick Quax (former New Zealand record holder for the 5000m and her ex coach) had had on her running and her life. It was identifying and stressing the fact that the two can not and should not be separated in order to get the most out of both. At the time I was too young and or naive to really understand what she meant but her words certainly registered with me and I packaged them up in my sub conscious somewhere. It hasn’t been until recently that I truly appreciate this and I often hear her voice explaining to me what the great Dick Quax had explained to her.
Moving to the other side of the world has really helped me comprehend what Sarah meant by not being able to separate running from your life and vice versa. I suppose when you make such a drastic move, with no real plan other than to explore and gain experience, times are naturally going to be up and down. I moved to London in March this year from New Zealand and have certainly had a good mixture of wonderful and tough times. The roller coaster of jumping hemispheres has exposed the way that when things are smooth and wonderful; so is my running – the training, the racing and my bodies response to it. However, the tougher times have meant the opposite; motivation for training has lacked, performance in races not amazing and I have sometimes felt like running is something I simply have no energy for.
I guess it comes down to the fact that we only have so much to give each day. When we are doing something that makes us happy and content of course we are going to have room in our day/lives for things that make us happy. However, if we spend our day exerting or draining ourselves in a job or activity that is perhaps not quite right then all we feel like doing is putting our feet up. The same goes for racing; when I am happy with everything else going on in life I tend to race well. When times aren’t so good, performance drops.
So running has become a good variable for me to measure my current situation. If it feels easy, natural and I feel excited about getting out for a run then things are good, very good. If life is a bit bumpy then running might be a bit for a while too and that, my high achieving running friends, is ok!!!
Find a job or a life style that makes you happy and allows you the time and energy to enjoy running or whatever else it might be that does it for you. Life is too short to not have anything to give the things that we are passionate about so make sure that your life works for your running and your running will work for your life and for you.