Today I had a job interview. I’m not going anywhere, it’s an internal position where I work but it’s a more responsible role. A role that I want to get as it gives me even more opportunities to teach my subject specialism.
I left the house this morning at usual time, 5:45am, arrived to the gym car park and set off for my daily morning run. 9 miles on complete autopilot, my legs just went and my head was elsewhere. The entire hour I was in conversation with myself with absolutely no thought going into where I was running or how my legs felt. They just went on my usual 9 mile route and suddenly I was returning to my car to collect my bag and shower in the gym. Madness. I was completely absorbed into my mind with no attention being paid to what my physical body was doing. Looking at the Strava splits, I ran at a pretty typical 4:30min per km pace and had no real deviation between the kms.
It’s run’s like this that optimise my love for running. There is literally no way I’d rather spend my first few hours of being awake. This is why I run. It’s meditation, its where I put all my thoughts and objectives into perspective, it’s my thinking time, it’s my non-negotiable undisturbed hour of physical exertion that gives me nothing but peace of mind and body.
Those of us that participate in long distance and endurance exercise seem to all have this understanding. The people I always gravitate and relate to most are those that have this need for extended physical exertion, especially those that also do it first thing in the morning. I am so appreciative that I have found this and for the last 3-4 years, and even a few years before that, has been the way I start my day.
The fitness industry is full of fat loss theories and ways to be in shape but there isn’t enough of an emphasis on the mental wellbeing aspects that come with it. Especially within long extended periods of cardio. ‘Experts’ love to hark on about how too much is bad for you or that you are setting yourself up for injury but I could spew off numerous case studies that prove them wrong. The ultra-running ultra-endurance communities are full of us that prove that the human body can handle a lot more than a 30 minute fitness class on a daily basis. The difference between us and other people? We love it. We love it so much that we need to push our bodies to that point just to achieve an osmosis of the mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being someone who is good physical shape, who can confidently walk around knowing that my body looks good and is also capable of incredible things. However, more than anything, I think my overwhelming love for life and positive energy stems from what my physical endeavours does for my mental health and wellbeing.
Feed your body with the nutrition and exertion its worthy of. Every body is capable of these things. I haven’t even scratched the surface on what I want to achieve in terms of physical challenge. I know my physical being is capable of more. Through doing that, I also know, that it will only benefit me more and more mentally.
Today I had a job interview. Throughout the hour of questions and micro-teach session I had to deliver, I felt calm and poise – something I wouldn’t have felt if I hadn’t ran my 9 miles.
Now, like every other day, I can’t wait to do the same tomorrow.
I hope every reader finds their running.