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Serious running

November 23, 2010

Are you a “serious runner”?
What a pity if that is case!
Because your seriousness probably prevent you from having a playful and relaxed approach to running.

Suppose you identify yourself as “a runner”. You have knowledge about running, and have aquired a fair amount of running experience. Since a few years you might have been running 3 or more times a week. By now you know quite well which running shoes that works for you and have opinions about running issues like “barefoot running”, the pros and cons of compression socks and is keen to tell the world about your weekly milage, PB’s and – of course – injuries. “Injuries” probably comes first.

Identification with the image you have of yourself will prevent you from exploring the unexplored you. You will carry on with what you are used to. It will make you feel “safe”. That’s OK. That’s how it is. That’s how we are. But remember your image of yourself is only an image. Other people’s images of you are most certainly different. And why would your image of yourself be more true than theirs?

How do you perceive yourself as a runner? As “the serious runner”? As “the compulsary runner”? As “the competitive runner”? As “the joyful runner”? Etc.
Is every run a training session, a mission to be accomplished? Or are you doing it for the feelings, the sensations, the passion and for the fun of it, just like surfers surf, skiers ski, climbers climb and lovers love?

With a tiny ipod shuffle attatched at the back of the visor, here with raincoat, you can avoid irritating cords around the neck. And it's easy to monitor as well.

Once I climbed a tree during a run in the forest. It was this time of year. Dark and cold, and headtorch obligatory. After 30 minutes or so I got bored of running and found myself strolling around, alone in the darkness. Doing chin-ups in the “chin-up tree” wasn’t either working, but the tree intrigued me and climbing it was easy. There I was, sitting in the tree with Moodymann, dark, mystic Detroit electro-house in my earphones. It was really nice just sitting there, enjyoing myself. Then a mountainbiker on the trail 10 metres away shouted at me. He must have seen my torch. “What are you doing up there in the tree?”
– I’m sitting here listening to music.
– That sounds nice, he said with a tone of astonishment and hit off.
It was nice to step out of the role of a runner, just for a little while. After the pause it felt much better to run again. I had found what was missing.
I had found the Joy. Playing changed everything. Now I was there.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nyarie permalink
    April 8, 2011 10:00

    Wonderful post.
    When I started running I got caught up in becoming a “compulsory runner”where running turned into a routine of trying to up the milage, improve PB and follow the training schedule at all costs. Basically taking the fun out of running.

    After some serious introspection I realised that the fundamental reason why I run is because I want to feel alive and be at one with nature. I can’t enjoy all this if my only objective is to meet training targets.

    I find I run better and have more fun when I immerse myself in my surroundings, add a some playfulness and allow my curiosity to wonder during a run. I stop to marvel the little interesting creatures that I come across on trails, I stop to listen carefully to the beautiful melodies coming from the birds singing in the trees. The other day I was chasing after butterflies, needless to say that I had a good laugh- all by myself :D.

    I rarely go trail running without my digi-cam because it is mostly during runs that I see some of the most beautiful things. It is these experiences that make me want to keep heading out the door to run. It is these things that make me run even further than I had planned without noticing it, and the best part? – having loads of fun at it!

    Playfulness is a must for every runner!

    • fredrikolmqvist permalink*
      April 9, 2011 3:05

      True, running isn’t about chasing another experience, but to realize you are already in the perfect moment. Playing while running is a bliss. That’s what the Tarahumaras have discovered. Welcome by the way:-)

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