While I have been a good sportsman throughout my life, I never adopted the habit of running regularly. Some time ago, I thought I should do it and now I take time out of my schedule to run when I can. It is easy for me because I’m always wearing running shoes for this convenience.
Some of the thoughts I have encountered while running are the following.
- When I am running, I get tired and think of the time when that pain is going to end. Immediately, it connects me to my ancestors millions of years ago who had not yet risen to the top of food chain. Probably many of them were chased and eaten by saber-tooth tigers. While getting tired, I imagine to think from their minds. I imagine a saber-tooth tiger running behind me and then I have only two choices: (1) either hunted down by the beast or (2) keep running. Guess what, I keep running.
- Naturally, this makes me so grateful for the comforts of the modern society. It is so easy to criticize the ills and drawbacks of the modern lifestyle but keeping things in perspective, how easy it is for me to choose when and where I want to run. And if I stop, there is no threat to my life! I go home to a comfortable home and I sleep on a soft bed. I enjoy delicious foods and I have peace around me all the time. What else our one such ancestor would have wanted from life? Forever grateful…
- One thing about running is that one day I will not be able to run. Until I can, I am glad to have this opportunity and eager to grab it with both hands.
- A very interesting experience is that sometimes when I get really tired, I let my upper body get tired because this is where all the breathing gets generated but keep my legs moving. I tell my brain that my upper and lower bodies are two separate entities. The lower one can continue running while the upper gets exhausted.
- This also makes me think how it is all about the mind that generates commands to the whole body. If this mind gets convinced of more capability, the rest follows. Most of the limitations in our life come from the limitations of our minds. Most of the ambitious goal setting and planning is about convincing this guy of more.
- Another interesting lesson I learned was the following. Many a times, strong winds are blowing in the ground (typical of Melbourne). Running in a circle, I encounter both opposing and supporting winds. I have noticed is that when the wind is on my back supporting my trajectory, it does not feel much. However, as soon as I go around and face it in the opposite direction, its sound becomes heavier and its gust feels much stronger. This made me realize that the same is true for other areas of our life as well. Life is complex and goes through ups and downs in a natural cycle. When we are being favoured by it, we do not feel much about the good things happening to us (instead probably take them as results of our own great abilities and right actions). On the other hand, as soon as life starts brining us down, we stress out under a feeling of life being unfair (particularly more so to us). The hostility seems immense that tries to push us towards hopelessness. Running made me realize that life is mostly a fair game, it is the perceptions that are wrong.