3.02.2011

What makes runners happy?

"Wow, runners are all just so nice!" is just one of the many comments I have heard from friends and co-workers on the disposition of runners. And it is true, runners are nice and I really enjoy being in the presence of other runners.

But what makes runners nice?

Simply stated, running.

Running has an impact on your mind, body, and soul. You need to be focused and positive to go the distance. Running trains your body to work more efficiently, to consume oxygen better, to be better coordinated; therefore, your body is more in tune to endure the challenges of each day. In addition, running releases those fantastic endorphins that make you feel oh, so good! And runners know to listen to their bodies and to properly interpret what their bodies are saying. For example, am I sluggish today because my mind perceives obstacles or am I sluggish because I'm not properly nourished? Is this pain I feel a minor temporary pain or is this a pain that I must listen to and adjust my run accordingly? Body awareness is useful in all aspects of your life as you make the necessary adjustments during play or at work when you are glued to the computer.

But is that enough to make runners happy?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

I feel the true sense of happiness that runners possess comes from the fact that runners take life at a different pace. Even the fastest runner moves slower that the mass transporation we have today allowing the runner to see things differently. Plus as a runner, you focus on different elements during the run because you need to avoid the little obstacles in your way. And for runners like me, you are up earlier than the vast majority of the public. You are out and about when others are still snoozing. You see the homeless on the sidewalks looking for warmth and feel the gratitude for the blessings in your life. You see the stores just opening up and make connections with the other early risers in your community. And today, when I left the gym after my 6.6 mile run, I saw the moon setting and the vision was absolutely beautiful! I would have missed this beauty if I didn't get up and go to the gym and am thankful I did today. (But how I wish I had a camera with me!)