Wednesday, September 16, 2009

… hang on – when did I become a runner?

Up until around two years ago I was training at the gym. I trained a lot. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I never do things by halves. For good and for ill, I go for things in a big way – jump in with both feet and therefore tend to either sink or swim desperately – never just float along.

Around two years ago I travelled to visit my mother in ol’ blighty and knowing that I would be away from my beloved gym I needed another activity to keep me sweating. Running seemed the obvious choice as the only equipment I’d need was my own two feet. *I’ll just drop in here that I hated running at school, mainly because I was an overweight computer nerd who hated any activity at all. I and my friends would find ever more elaborate ways to hide and rejoin the long distance run which was the yearly horror called “the cross-country race”. The first time I laced my shoes and headed out was a real eye opener. Because of years of weight training I ran like someone had dipped me in concrete – and I hated it. Now – because I’m built the way I am I treated this as a challenge – by the end of the week I could run about 2 miles without passing out or throwing up – a triumph! Upon returning to my beloved Bergen in Norway I continued to run but used it mostly as the cardio warm up to my weights training. This is still a wonderful “mix”, though I haven’t done that for about half a year – I’ll explain why a little later.

Slowly but surely I’ve discovered that I am not and will never again be a body builder. I will continue to use weights a couple of times a week, but mainly as a full body cross train, as over the last two years I have become “a runner”. In fact, recent theory claims that I have rediscovered that i am a runner as the human body was always designed to be for long distance running – please visit and listen to Steve Runner’s podcast on this (episode 187: The Running Evolution. Steve is one of my heroes so I really, strongly advise you to listen to his podcast.

I discovered I was a runner when I was heading home from my sedentary job as an IT consultant and realised I didn’t feel I had to do my run when I got home. I needed to do my run. I couldn’t wait to do my run – “hey wait! I love running!”

I can’t understand how it took me so long to discover one of my life’s purposes. It is my meditation, my exercise, my chance to play with my favourite gadgets (Ipod Nano and Garmin 405), the time I listen to podcasts, satisfies my obsession with self-mastery, self-improvement and mind programming and although physically I run alone, I virtually never run alone. I have friends around  the world with whom I run: my aforementioned hero SteveRunner, Nigel of “Running from the Reaper”, Texafornia and HolisticGuru from “Zen and the art of triathlon”. These guys are all part of the most all encompassing community I have found on the web – the community. I can honestly say that being a runner is both precious and necessary for me to complete me.

Although this blog is about self-development and the evolution of what I call “version two” of man, physical training and development is a vital part of that. I’ll be posting regularly about running from now on as I hope that it will complement the rest of the blog.

Note: I mentioned earlier that I have not been weight training for six months – that’s because I have been training up to the Oslo marathon on the 27th. I will be returning to cross-training after that, but mainly because it will make me a better runner :) The last few weeks of my training I’ve been using the Buckeye Outdoors site to record my workouts (though a lot got lost from my water-damaged Nokia phone – since I got the Garmin I’ve updated it properly.) – You can see what I’ve been up to on the RSS feed.

I’m also going to start podcasting :) – That’s because of Steve – his inspiration – so you’ll have to blame him if it’s awful. More on that to come.

Run long and live every day like it’s your last.

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