Once you stop running on the play ground, does running become work?

Running is not easy for me. Let me just throw that out there, right up front. While I’ve been running for a few years now and I’ve even done a couple of marathons, the physical and mental act of running is not what I’d call easy. At least not for me. Sure, there are a few things that have gotten easier over time. And some of the mental “unknowns” that were around for my first marathon are no longer consuming my thoughts. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. I am not naturally gifted when it comes to athletics. Shocker! I work hard at running and over time have had to play many a trick on myself to either get me out the door for that short run or to keep putting one foot in front of the other on the long runs. Why is this still the case? Why is it still hard? And why does everyone assume it’s easy or easier? HHHmmmm….

And when exactly, or at what age, does running become difficult? I don’t know any kid that thinks running is hard. They actually do it for fun. They run to the swing set, they run around the bases, they run to the end of the playground to see who’s faster and sometimes they just run for no apparent reason (i.e. every mom’s quote, “quit running in the house”). If running were difficult, they wouldn’t do it. So, when does the joy of running get sucked out of it and instead it becomes work? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to run a marathon with the joy and enthusiasm of a kid? Even when someone is excited about running the race, it’s still not the same unbridled freedom that a kid runs with.

I have some LONG runs coming up quickly in the next few weeks. And while I’ve tackled all of these distances already, it’s still scary for me. That’s because the actual act of running is work for me. So, I guess the bigger question is why. Why, do I voluntarily sign up to do “work”? Don’t I have enough work in my life? Or am I running to secretly try to recapture the joy of my youth?

(Or is it neither and I’m instead running to try to combat a widening ass?)

Something to ponder.
Until next time, gotta run.

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One response to “Once you stop running on the play ground, does running become work?

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