Yes, running is good. It does not matter why you are running as long as you are running. Maybe you are running towards something or away from something, maybe you are running for something or from something, maybe you are running because you are out of time or because you have a lot of time. Like I said earlier, it does not matter why, as long as you are running… you are good.
I used to stay in a very busy suburb of a metro city. Running was a part of life, you’d run to catch the bus, the train, you’d even have to run to catch a cab before someone else claims it. Running was life, you stop you get left behind, you get in the way of others, you may even be run over if the person was not courteous enough to push you out of the way.
Then I moved to a laid-back city, all was well, the pace of life was slow. The motto of the people seemed to be “If you can do it tomorrow, you may as well do it next week”. With the luxury of getting a door to door pickup and drop provided by the employer, I seldom needed to use my feet to move my body over a distance of 100 meters or so in a day at a time.
About two years since I moved to the new city, I, one day, was in a hurry and needed to take the bus to reach my destination. As I was nearing the bus stop, about 20 meters away from me I saw the bus was about to leave. I did what I was used to doing a couple of years back or at least thought that I was capable of doing. I made a run for it. I missed the bus, and I missed it by a distance of 15 meters.
Okay, a couple of years back, I used to get down from a suburban train that was hurtling down the station at a speed of no less than 45 kmph or get into it, without breaking a sweat. And this day, I was out of breath in just five meters.
I realized the toll I had paid for the lazy life I was living. I thought I looked fine, so I was fine. But after this experience, I realized that looking and being are two different things. If your body is not capable of carrying out the basic task that it has evolved to do over thousands of years, then you are definitely not fine and whatever you are doing is bad, too bad for it.
That’s when I started working out, no, not hitting the gym and pumping iron kind of stuff. I changed my lifestyle to use my feet. I made it a point to walk to the destination if it was less than 5 km and to cycle if it was more. At one point I was traveling to my office on a cycle, a round trip of 48 kms, five days a week.
In a couple of months, I could see the drastic change in my physiology. I felt better, I felt stronger and I felt confident. I also participated in a popular 10K run for four consecutive years and finished. It’s been almost eight years now since that incident, and I have maintained the practice to keep myself active physically and keep myself fit enough to not think twice about being able to do something as basic as running for life.