The Ugly Side of Running
Running is not for everyone!
I was recently on a running track alongside a busy highway when I received a spray of abuse from a passenger in a car. It’s not the first time it has happened – actually it’s surprisingly common. Obviously it didn’t hurt me, and I suppose it comes out of the joy within an action that bears no consequence. Whatever. I don’t really get it…but it leaves me thinking every time. In a twisted way it motivates me. I start to think about how I would respond if the abuser actually had the gaul to do it NOT from a car driving 80kph in the opposite direction to me!
So, with tongue slightly in cheek – and without wanting to be labelled an internet tough guy – I leave my response to destiny in the hands of cyberspace.
Here’s why you’re better off undertaking some physical activity than riding shotgun in a passenger vehicle:
1. Lack of serotonin. All that sitting on your bum in a mate’s car leaves your system lagging in it’s production of this ‘feel good’ hormone that comes when you actually move your body. Being constantly grumpy due to inactivity would explain random outlays of abuse!
2. Too much cortisol. It must be stressful when you’re stuck in a butt-shaped print on a car seat all your life. And presumably the influence of drive-thru Macca’s (or whatever the kids are buying these days!) doesn’t help this predicament. With cortisol driving those adrenal glands in an attempt to get the body moving, but the grumpy old hypothalamus signalling that it’s way cooler to sit in a passenger seat and get fat, it’s no wonder such outbursts occur! How else are you going to deal with the systemic build up of excess energy.
3. A pea-sized brain. Considering that BDNF production (a protein best described as ‘miracle-gro’ for the brain) is a direct result of regular movement, we could surmise that the result of hours spent heckling from the passenger seat is the occurence of physical growth south of the brain. This becomes a vicious cycle – as the brain gets smaller and the gut gets bigger, the abuse continues to get dumber.
4. Napoleon complex – ‘Small man syndrome’ – or some other form of inferiority complex involving overcompensation, where mental limitations cause feelings of inferiority upon unfavorable comparison of oneself with the superior achievements of others.
Ok so point 4 is only mildly scientific – I just thought I’d throw it in with the unlikely event that my slanderer might come across this post – it’s more of a point in jest as this is the only forum for response that such an act has afforded me!
Intrinsic motivation is the catalyst for a good mood. My poor ‘mate’ riding in a beat up old car hasn’t learned this yet. His motivation was external and reactionary, and he has gained nothing more than a short-lived chuckle from his actions.
It doesn’t have to be running. Any physical activity you choose to pursue to better yourself will benefit your immediate wellbeing. People who understand this have the capacity to lift others due to their own inner resolve.
Even exercising alone is essentially a pro-social act due to the subsequent release of ‘happy hormones’ which create a positive mood to project onto others.
Far better for all around me that I run hard whilst alone than I ‘socialise’ in an anti-social format.
Unfortunately I fear that I’m already preaching to the converted, but maybe if you see these guys around you could pass on my message!