Be ExtraOrdinary

A Love Affair with Running

Sporting journeys are rarely linear, and mine has been no exception. A varied upbringing in team sports led me to an unexpected passion: running. It started as something my coaches used as a punishment and evolved into a way of life. In this section, I’ll share my personal transition from team sports to running, the phases of my running evolution, and the awakening of my philosophy of Mindful Running.

From Punishment to Pleasure

Playing a lot of ball and team sports, running was often used as a punishment. A strategy I had used throughout my sporting life as a less talented ball player was to chase down every ball, wear down opponents, and exhaust them until their skills failed. In my 30’s I was playing league squash and the faith in aerobic conditioning ignited a daily running habit, beginning at 3km and slowly building to 10km. That’s when it dawned on me that I enjoyed running more than squash, and my love for running started to take over.

Goal-Driven Beginnings

The initial phase of my running was about chasing goals—running my first half marathon, achieving my first marathon, and lowering my times. It was an era driven by targets and milestones, filled with exhilaration and accomplishment.

Injury and Enlightenment

Then came a turning point. A running injury sidelined me, leading me to the gym and the bicycle. Understanding the biomechanics that played a vital role in my running performance and injury prevention was an absolute game-changer. This injury was a blessing in disguise, offering me an insight into the mind-body connection in running.

Mindful Running

That realization started me on the path to Mindful Running. I became mindful of my movements, looking at ways to improve my form while simultaneously becoming a better and less injured runner. Much like martial artists practice form and ballerinas practice movement, runners too need to practice movement. This became the PRACTICE of running for me. It was not merely an exercise but a philosophy, a way to connect deeply with my body, and the environment.

A Fish in the Ocean

My running since then has been a continuation and deepening of this practice. From emphasizing the importance of breathing to practicing mindful meditation to stay in the moment, running has transformed from a separate activity into an integral part of my being. Running is to me as the ocean is to a fish.

Back to the main article – A Mindful Runners Path

Related posts