You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘running’ tag.
As a teenager I competed in a lot of sports. I competed at the provincial level in horseback riding and running, and I played varsity ice hockey at university. I loved it. I loved competing, the team spirit, training, improving at a skill – any sport, it didn’t matter. Team or individual.
As an adult, time consuming training schedules and expensive competitions don’t get high priority in my life. Family, kids, work, the house all take a higher priority, so I have been out of the competitive realm for many years. These days I do yoga, meditate, chop wood, chase my kids and run (I do dream of running a marathon) – all very introspective, non-competitive “sports”. In my current mindset sports, especially the crazy team spirit of many fans, seem silly.
But then, I only need a very small reminder of the exhilaration of competition to make me yearn for it. Riding a well trained horse in a public setting, or watching my husband race on his dirtbike, instantly gets me energized. I know it costs money, takes up tons of time and doesn’t directly benefit society – but it feels so good. Is it social conditioning? Has evolution made us prefer the a competitive environment? Is it human nature? Is it just me?
There are many people who abhore a competitive environment. I don’t understand that at all. I think they have a mental block and if they were placed in a safe, supportive environment they would appreciate how much fun it is.
I think all fans are just living vicariously through their team. Just like parents live vicariously through their kids. If each of us had the choice, we would rather be part of a team – training, winning, losing, getting better at our preferred skill. Not everyone has the opportunity or dedication to play sports into adulthood, instead slipping into the comfortable role of a fan. Being a fan has many of the same benefits as being an athlete – you get to join in on the thrill and exhilaration of competition. Which is why it is so seductive. But you don’t get the personal satisfaction of getting better at something that comes with actually being on the field – or the physical benefits.
Is there a way to capture the energy and enthusiasm of sport in every person? Can we reframe life as a sport? Where you train and winning, measuring success and skill development are crystal clear and easily celebrated. Where everything in life has a physical element to it, your body and mind have to work together to achieve the next level. What fun.
I can see my blog evolving into some kind of social commentary. Not sure if I enough to say to keep that stream forever, but for now I like it. It is just so interesting to see how ourselves, our communities and our countries have evolved.
I guess I would call myself a runner. I did track pretty competitively as a teenager and I am currently training to definitely run a 1/2 marathon, and hopefully run a full marathon next year. However, as my daughter bluntly pointed out, I spend most of my time jogging slowly – not running!
Everyone knows this: eat well and get regular exercise and you will be healthy. Rocket science! Any of us who have tried regular exercise, know it can be hard to get out the door, but afterwards we feel great. And if we are in a rhythm of regular exercise and eating well – we feel great, more energy, healthier, all that stuff.
So why is it that bad habits pull people in like gravity? Why does my brain say ‘I am tired, stop running now’ all the time, when if I keep going I will be better off in so many ways?
For me it is the great mystery of our generation. Laziness is easy and we are so attracted to it. Eating is so gratifying and we are programmed to love salt, sugar and fat. How is this an evolutionary advantage? It is more like a self-destruct mechanism…
I generally like people and can find good in everyone. This is perhaps my darkest opinion of humankind. I think it will be impossible to get millions of people to wake up and take responsibility for the state of their bodies. Something in human nature is working against us in this one regard.
Can you imagine if people had to run and play everyday. What if it was a priority on everyone’s list all the time, naturally, like sleep. But most of us, anywhere in the world, given the opportunity, would prefer to sit down more.
What if eating past full and binging on junk food was naturally repulsive. And lemons were more delicious then sugar.
There are a lot of problems in our world that are really complex, both how they evolved and how to possibly solve them. But this one is a done deal – our brain is old fashioned, with instincts that completely work against us in an efficient, modern society. To be healthy, an individual needs to put in a concerted effort for their entire life to work against those instincts. The cards are stacked against us.
What do you think?