I live next to a lush park. It’s a beautiful park and quite big. The park is a very popular place for running. You can see runners and joggers and strollers from dusk to midnight. Everyone with their own running style. From watching how other runners run I can tell why they run. Well, not in exact detail but more or less.. You can tell a lot from their facial expressions; fighting faces, how they move their arms; if they run with open hands or sluggers fists; if they look happy or relaxed, etc.
Sometimes I run with “beginners”, a little bit like a coach. They usually excuse themselves on forehand for not being as fast as I am, or that they won’t be able to run as far as I’m used to do. Running, I tell them, isn’t only about speed or distance. It’s also about movement and feeling and experience and sensations and awareness. Being aware about how you run can actually make running quite interesting. Even top runners who have been running for many, many years would agree on this. When you find a way to run that makes you run smooth, light and effortless you will experience the beauty of running, just letting your body be an instrument. It doesn’t matter how fast you run. Therefore it’s possible even for “fast” runners to enjoy slow, social running or jogging. And therefore it’s also possible for “slow” runners to run relaxed with faster runners. We run together. It’s no competition.
One of the most read posts on this blog is the one about “running as a celebration”. If you willing to try to change your mindset for your next run, instead of running with any “shoulds” you can instead carry the idea of running as a celebration of life, of nature, of your health, of the season, of the moment, listening to the magical sound of the wind in the trees, listening to your breaths or smiling at the moon like we did last night, stopping and picking flowers.
Watching other runners without a competitive mind but rather with compassion gives me a sense of sharing. Meeting their glances. Sensing their joy, their struggle, their long road ahead. Wishing that they could feel what I feel and run without resistance. Running naturally.