It’s an oft-asked question (particularly by those who don’t run) but the significance of ‘Why we run’ can be underappreciated by many.
There are the obvious physical and mental benefits, such as regulating our weight and creating healthier physical systems, plus the maintenance of routine and good emotional health… Drill down a little deeper into the psyche of most runners, however, and you’ll discover even more intrinsic reasons ‘why we run’.
A fundamental Buddhist principle is, ‘life is suffering’. It’s this basic human struggle that has evolved over millennia and while those privileged enough to have access to plentiful supplies of our staples for survival no longer need to hunt and gather to survive, we still seek that basic level of suffering that indeed makes us human.
That’s where running holds a place in the lives of many people who lace up their shoes and head out the door in the morning, the evening or the middle of the day.
American Tibetan Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chödrön writes in her book When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”
In the context of running, we’re constantly exposing ourselves to the possibility of annihilation – breaking down our bodies and minds in a process that then allows us to rebuild a better version of ourselves. Throughout the process we seek learning about life and filter the events that shape us on a daily basis.
And the end goal? That’s up to you to decide. Just run.
Our friends at Salomon are well known for producing videos of pure running inspiration via the excellent production group, The African Attachment. Below are several examples to entertain and inspire at work, at home or maybe on the train. Enjoy.