Why I Run

Why do we run? More to the point, why do I run? Reasons like ‘extending life expectancy’ and ‘to lose weight’ don’t strike a note. They would hardly get me out of bed in the morning or keep me going through these bitter, winter nights. My ‘why’ comes from who I am as a person.

Ambition

Unable to sit still I have an urge to achieve which moves me away from comfort and into the unknown. Running embodies this, I love pushing boundaries and reaching beyond my physical limits. The more time I spend around my boundaries the more I learn about myself.

Sounds cheesy doesn’t it? What would I need to learn about myself? To put it a different way I need to fulfill my curiosity…that sounds better.

Curiosity

A middle of the pack runner I assumed myself less talented as a child, but how could I know? I’d never practiced with purpose to prove that perception wrong, I always assumed ability was a birth right. This recently made me curious, just how good could I be? Can I finish an Ultra? Could I dare to dream of competing?

These idol curiosities remain unanswered four months on and to be honest, I almost don’t want the answer. If curiosity can push me to invest so much in one endeavor, what happens when it is fulfilled? But maybe I’ll never find the answer, after all we constantly evolve with practice.

The Calm Between The Storms

Another ‘why’ comes from my nagging, busy brain. Switching off and dialing down can be hard but guess what helps? Losing myself in mountains, trails, or countryside with little more than relentless forward motion. Lost in thought, stress and anxiety fall away making room for random wanderings and time to check in with my inner self. Add Robbie Williams blaring ‘Millennium’ through my ears and I can think of no better way to spend a warm, summers day.

Exploration

Surrounded by the North Yorkshire Moors I have plenty of outstanding beauty on my doorstep. Bounding along the Cleveland Way or climbing in the Lake District offers a feeling of freedom thats hard to match. Reaching the top of a mountain, with weary limbs but closer to the clouds can induce a real sense of euphoria followed by the adrenaline high of a swift descent.

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Author: Darren Smith

Fairly new to Trail running, Darren sees 2017 as a transitional year. Swapping concrete for dirt and 10K's for marathons and beyond. Darren started "Trailing The Pack" to chronicle his journey and share the trip with any like minded nutters.

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