You can thank two days of running unexpected miles, a fasting blood test, an afternoon walk that I sort of wished was a run at the beginning (not at the end), bright sunny Spring days, and unexplained and unwanted foot pain for this thought on life.
It sort of seems like since entering college that literally everyone is training for something. Never in my whole life have I met and spoken to so many people that are training for a half or full marathon. OK it might be the fact that my major is call Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise so everyone in the major is assumed to be rather health conscious. Or it could be the fact that I follow people in the blogging world who are committed to active and healthy lifestyles and most of them love running. Or it could be the fact that it seems like everyday there is some new diet and fitness trend that everyone wants to get behind. I am not saying everyone training for a marathon is a bad thing (although that would make for some pretty close running quarters during said race), but I am putting it out there that it isn’t for everyone (me being one of those people)
I just started running and I hope to never become obsessed with mileage, pace, ect. Because that would take away from the whole reason I actually started to like running for the first time ever (I was literally the girl that not only completed 12 minute miles but also hid behind the bleachers sometimes to avoid a lap or two…) I started to like running because for the first time ever that trip to the gym to run on a treadmill didn’t feel forced like the same trip to would have if I was doing the elliptical, the runs I just started doing outside don’t feel like exercise. It feels fun, beautiful, and noncompetitive. So when I log my miles on my daily mile it isn’t to track my training I really just want to find out how far I went so I can tell my mom and dad.
I know a lot of people out there feel pressure when it comes to fitness because they think they have to be like the person running a 7-8 minute mile or that they will some day have to run a marathon. It seems like running (and other fitness activities- I am just using running because so many do it) = must enter a race. I will admit that my mind has wandered there a few times and maybe I will run in a race one day in the future. But I will not be racing. Because this activity isn’t my personal marathon.
My marathon and what I train for is school/academics. My miles are spent making large stacks of flashcards, memorizing complex metabolic processes, and pipetting RNA and protein samples to better understand metabolism. I take tests like that person crossing the finish line and looking like they could go another 26 miles. This studying and epic feeling after I successfully bubble in that last bubble is my runner’s high.
We are all training for some race. And that is a good thing. But is the race necessarily on the road for 26 miles, or in the pool and on a bike to make things even more complicated? Nope. Fitness can be something you just do while training to do something else that really does give you a high. It might be school (like me), or your job (I imagine lawyers and doctors experience their respective high in the courtroom or operating room), or raising a family. It all counts and it is all life long training towards our own happiness. The big finish is to live healthfully and happily alongside friends and family for the rest of your life 😀