Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thoughts While Running

I have heard many people describe their time spent running as a time to think.  While their body is running, they allow their mind to run free.  Some use this mind meandering time to relax.  Others, however, use it as a time of discovery.  They think about life, their future, or their family.  I on the other hand, can't stop thinking about running.  My first thought when stepping on the treadmill (or elliptical depending on my preference for the day) is usually "God, I hope no one is watching."  

After coming to terms with the fact that people are going monitor the 300 pounder on their favorite piece of cardio equipment my thoughts usually wander towards what body part will be causing the most pain during this particular session.  Sometimes it is me knees.  Other times it could be my shins, feet, back, quads, ankles, shoulder, stomach, or even the particularly brutal combination of them all.  The most menacing thought, however, comes when I hear that dreaded tearing sound...  

"Was that my shorts or my ACL?"

Which brings me to my latest hurdle...  Why am I seemingly unable to zone out and let my mind wander during exercise? My mind insists on wandering when I am doing other important things, so why not during exercise?  Is it because I am so out of shape that my body just won't allow it?  Or is it perhaps because I have not yet been able to convince myself that I really enjoy exercising? Or am I yet to make exercise a routine that would allow my thoughts to travel elsewhere?

Running is not the difficult part...

There is a reason that I am want so desperately to be able to mentally disconnect while running. It seems that people who use their time exercising to relax their mind are more successful in achieving their fitness goals, and are more likely to stick to exercise routines... which actually makes sense.  

The actual physical activity part of the "fitness" thing is not all that terrible.  The difficult part is the mental anguish before and during. Dragging myself out of bed and fighting away the excuses to NOT go to the gym is tough. Nothing is more challenging, however,  than being at the gym and longing to go home and eat Cheetos rather that run another mile.  
How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.
Yes, I would give almost anything to become one of "those people" the lucky ones who don't focus progressively more on their current situation with every step.  But how exactly does one achieve that mental state?  I imagine that some people are just born that way(those bastards).  They innately enjoy running and therefor don't have to think about it constantly.  Obviously that is not me.  Perhaps for those who aren't born with that inherent trait, something just "clicks" one day, and they settle into a sort of cardio groove in which they are able to let their mind wander.

More likely, however, this treasured state of mind only comes with diligence like most other things in the fitness world.  It would appear that the only way that I am going to find my "groove" is by plodding away day in and day out until  I stumble into it.  So for now I will continue to log as many miles as possible in hopes of changing my way of thinking, all the while dreading the next step more than the last.


  1. Hey There!
    Have you ever thought about changing up where you run? You love to fish...ever think about running grass around a lake or something? Or throwing Jackson in a jogging stroller and heading to a park with ponds and stuff? I can't run in a gym to save my life. As weird as it is...I run the best at night outside.

    1. Hey cousin. I have thought about running outdoors, but unfortunately I am so over weight at this point that my knees don't agree with that sort of impact. I am basically limited to the elliptical right now. Maybe in a couple months, but until then it would appear that I am stuck running inside.

  2. We need to play basketball sometime soon.

    1. I'm down. You know i can shoot the lights out on some free throws.