My exercise plan for the day is to go out for a run. I know this as I checked the Tasks on my Microsoft Outlook Account- there it is in Arial 12pt- 3.30pm, 6.2km run. It is now 3.00pm so I’d better get ready.
I slip my orthotics into my High Performance Neutral Running shoes. From here I squeeze into my long compression tights and compression singlet. I revel in the prospect of the claimed improvements to running economy, power and lactic acid clearance that I will experience. Over the top of this goes the light-weight wick-away fabric shorts and singlet (the redundancy of the wick-awayness worn over compression garments is an irony lost on me at the time). Oops, I forget my heart rate monitor band- I’d better put that on as last time my average heart rate for this run was 156 bpm so I will need to gather data for comparison during the post-run review. I am ready to hit the road.
I look and feel like some B Grade superhero with all this lycra and electro-gadgetry. Is this elaborate production really necessary?
No wait, stop, my iPod! I cannot tackle this run without the specifically orchestrated playlist to help motivate me up the big hill. I strap this around my arm, pop the headphones in my ear, and at 3.29pm I am out the door.
Oh really! How ridiculous is this. I look and feel like some B Grade superhero with all this lycra and electro-gadgetry. Is this elaborate production really necessary? All of this modern complexity that I have engineered into my running has overshadowed what should be the whole point of going for the run in the first place- that is, simply experiencing the joy of movement!
Spending time moving the body outside is a wondrous thing. The air rushing in and out of your lungs, and the increased flow of blood through your veins reminds you that you are alive. The shear exhilaration in pushing hard against the torment of lactic acid ripping through your legs as you reach the top of the hill is unequalled by any artificial stimulant. The fresh air and sunlight intertwine with my primitive physiology. I love to run. I experience joy on so many levels when I do. Running is not a chore. It is not what I do for exercise.
Running is what I do to experience a greater fullness of life.
Please do not allow exercise to be a source of angst in your life, another thing on the ever-growing list of ‘things to do for the day’. If it helps, stop using the term ‘exercise’ and instead think about how you would like to move your body today. It could be playing a sport, doing yoga, pilates or weight training, or it could simply be taking a stroll in the park or along the beach.
Movement is fundamental to our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being and those opportunities that you have to move should be valued and experienced fully. So tomorrow I’ll chuck on some old shorts, a singlet and some sunscreen and just get outside and run, and immerse myself in the experience.