The Daily Run

running-man

In a little over one month, I will reach a daily run streak of 365 days. The guidelines set forth by the United States Running Streak Association require at least one mile every day, on the tarmac, trails, or treadmill; with the longest active registered streak currently held by a 66-year-old logging over 17,600 days (or 48+ years) consecutively. I began my own streak as sort of a challenge to myself, to see how long I could stick with it. Eventually, new motivation and new reasons must be found, sometimes on a daily basis, otherwise if you are not careful the streak resets to one.

I began my own streak as sort of a challenge to myself, to see how long I could stick with it. Eventually, new motivation and new reasons must be found, sometimes on a daily basis, otherwise if you are not careful the streak resets to one.

Recently, I have struggled internally, debating if I should continue on. Until class this past weekend, my professor discussed with the class three basic principles each person is in search of: Connection, Meaning, and Comfort. I had not realized until she put it into words for me, but these three principles certainly can be applied to running, and provide all the motivation I will need for the remainder of my run streak and anything else I do with my life.

I had not realized until she put it into words for me, but these three principles certainly can be applied to running, and provide all the motivation I will need for the remainder of my run streak and anything else I do with my life.

Connection: “I don’t have time for that! I’m too busy” Finding time to move ourselves each day is usually the biggest barrier to forming habits and creating change. However, even if it is only 10-15 minutes of running, I find myself more in tune with how my body is feeling each day. This “somatic self-awareness” is a valuable skill in any physical activity, and allows us to assess what is simply discomfort or what is an injury with more confidence. Days “off” can mean calling it a day after a mile or two. So far I have found the daily recovery runs become easier, however, the hard runs are still hard.

This “somatic self-awareness” is a valuable skill in any physical activity, and allows us to assess what is simply discomfort or what is an injury with more confidence. Days “off” can mean calling it a day after a mile or two. So far I have found the daily recovery runs become easier, however, the hard runs are still hard.

Meaning: “Why would you do that?” Some runs don’t need any context, like children running on silky sand, we find ourselves doing it because it feels good. When meaning needs to be found, it can be found in a local running group, providing a connection on a deeper level than ourselves.

Running with others certainly has helped me get out the door on days when I did not want to start. Meaning can be found in the roses we smell when we make the decision to lace up our shoes. Meaning can be found in the specific workout with a race in mind. The daily run helps me find meaning in each day I am given, something to be thankful for.

Comfort: “I only run when I am being chased!” I believe the people who say this to me may not be aware of what they are missing. I have found value and comfort in starting this streak, and simply wish to share how it has affected me. Maybe it is the days in which the post-run euphoria were my best friend, something I could count on every day.

The days when I’m in class for over nine hours, I typically run immediately afterward to help digest all of the information I want to retain. The daily run has become my vice, how I self-regulate. Our ancestors ran to survive, we run because we can. I believe that movement for the sake of motion is a gift, which cannot be taken for granted.

The daily run helps me connect to myself and those around me. The daily run helps me to find meaning in what I do. The daily run brings me comfort; even on the worst of my days, I know it will be there for me.

Whatever it is you find as a passion in life, I hope you may find the same connection, meaning, and comfort in it.