* This article is the second of the “Why I” series – where I simply share about why I do a certain thing. “066 Why I write” was the first article in this series.
For some context first: I deem myself a long distance runner who runs 5-6 days averaging 50+ kilometers (31 + miles) a week. And my farthest run ever recorded has been 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) (at the time of writing)
That’s good enough context of my present state of affairs. But I never was like this or even ever hoped that running would become such a big thing in my day-to-day.
I started running because of my father who used to run long distances as well. I thought it was cool and all until it wasn’t when I tried to follow and then I would only run for the sake of feeling good about myself after finishing a 10K after slogging for like an hour. This would be very inconsistent until 2020, when I got some kind of an insatiable feeling to improve on my running. I set myself a big goal in 2021 to run a half marathon by the end of the year (after all the good training in the 2nd half of 2020 with much more to come in 2021). And through a relentless desire, I found myself completing that “year goal” before even the half year had gotten over!
Now, more than goals or any numbers that I was so obsessed with a little time ago in the very recent past, it feels like I run to RUN. (I’m sorry there really wasn’t a better way to put it across). There are some things that you do which are only for the mere good cause of doing it. And doing those things because you love to and want to do them. That’s what freedom’s a little bit about, I guess – being able to do what you want and then doing it.
I often get this from people (being the skinny kid I am) that “You don’t need to run, you’re already so thin!” Well, they’re right, I don’t need to, I want to. And getting more skinnier is not my purpose of running. My desire to run stems from the act of doing it – to run. And if that’s a crime, to do something you want, then I’m guilty- I’m happily guilty to the extent of infinite guilt (without feeling the guilt of course)
Running sometimes on the road, with or very often without any context can bring up all the feelings felt by Homo Sapiens to my soul. It’s amazing what a sport can do to you. For me, running is also one of those unique acts, which can make you aware of the inter-connectedness of the world and everything originating and going to dust being one. All being one. My running mindset certainly has helped me in countless other areas in my quest, or it may be vice-versa or mutual. The way everything is connected is just incredible, it’s hard to observe at first, but hey it’s all right in front of us.
That’s why I run. It’s a time where all things fall into place. And I merely run to run. It’s fun to run, you could try it out sometime if you don’t run already.
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If you’re an athlete, you could follow me on Strava: @Arjun Khemani