Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Why People Run

Let's face it. People run for a variety of reasons. While there are some people who run simply because they enjoy the sport, I suppose most of us need something more to our running than that. In my opinion, there are two main reasons people run. The first is because they want to enjoy cardiovascular health. Joan Vernikos once wrote a book called Sitting Kills, Moving Heals. Children understand this innately. One of my grandboys moves nonstop. He's always challenging me to run a race with him when he's on the farm. We adults sometimes overlook this magic, thinking that "at my age" it's better to simply relax in a chair for hours on end. Wrong. "Lack of activity," wrote Plato, "destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical activity save it and improve it." Where to start? Just move and you will improve! That's what I did today during my 5 mile run in Farmville. 

The other reason I suspect most people run is to enjoy life to its max. For me, a big part of exercise is seeking to so care for my health and fitness that I will be able to enjoy my children and grandchildren for many years to come. To do this, I have only one strict demand of myself: get up off the couch, get outside, and move. Jump (!) at every opportunity you have to interrupt your sedentary lifestyle and move your body as vigorously as feels comfortable. Has running become enjoyable for me? You bet it has. But sometimes the most enjoyable part of a run is what comes afterwards when I get to hold my grandbaby in my arms or romp with one of my grandsons. So that you're not just getting generalities, take a look at this.

Isn't he cute? This kind of video is what drives me to be the best at caring for my health that I can possibly be. You have to realize that the lifestyle here in southern Virginia is much less conducive to being healthy than, say, what you'll find in Colorado or Hawaii. You have to fight for your health. My point is: no one will take care of you as well as you can. Holding a newborn at my age is a reminder of the brevity of life. As H. H. Morant put is, "Live every day as if it were your last. Someday you'll be right." 

Being fit and working out and having goals is amazing and is what keeps us feeling alive and rejuvenated. Don't let your laziness get the best of you. This is real life, and there are good reasons for you to be active. Of course, physical health is not ALL there is to life. There's a balance to be found here. Keep your attitude positive. Always see exercise as a way to become stronger. And especially if you're my age, do it for your family's sake. They want you around for many more years to come.