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The Joy of Running

November 15, 2010

I love coming back to this secret trail.

Talking about Joy. I know it’s not easy to feel joy just like that, for no particular reason. For me, running with a sense of joy comes from the joy of Being. But it works the other way as well. Running reminds me of the beauty of Being. It becomes an expression of life, of life force, of freedom, of adventure. Like epic autumn runs with a backpack full of warm, dry clothes and a headtorch for the cold return in the darkness.

Being present while running releases me from habitual thinking. It makes me see things I haven’t seen before, even though I have been running the same trails many times. It makes me enjoy every step. Well, “every step” is an exaggeration but “many of the steps” is correct. Many lovely steps.

Soft sensations on a sunday run. Just add birdsong.

I suggest another way of looking at running: not as an effort, how it should be, but instead how it is. Run the same way as you are. It’s not a role. It’s you. Polite. Gentle. Loving. Daring. Passionate. Soft. Strong. Forget about the “shoulds”! Run your way, and if you never have done that, it’s time to reinvent yourself as a runner.

It’s easy to let running be boring, just like everything is when you do it without presence. The first steps of the run will undoubtedly lead you into your old patterns. Now is time to take charge. Now is the time to dance and smile. Now is the time to celebrate. You are running. You are alive. You are moving.

See the beauty in the movement, and the freedom of traveling far by foot. Discovering places, seing things, feeling sensations. Feeling strong, envigorated. Absorb the beauty and let it carry you. Running is indeed a great way of cultivating the art of Joy.

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