Running As Therapy

I was searching for the right quote for this post and couldn’t decide between a few of my favorites:

“Running is my private time, my therapy, my religion.” -Gail W. Kislevitz

“Runners don’t do drugs, they make their own … naturally.” – E. Neil Culbertson 

“Some seek the comfort of their therapist’s office, other head to the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I chose running as my therapy.”-Dean Karnazes

This one really describes how I have and will be approaching my runs for awhile:

“Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run.”-Arnold Hano

And then I found this…

“There is an itch in runners.” Monte Davis <–I have no idea who this guy is or what “itch” he has been experiencing, but I do not want to be associated with that category.

But, it is true–running is much cheaper than a therapist. I’ve always been the type of person to put in my earphones, tie up my running shoes and head out for an hour or so whenever something makes me mad, confused, or simply sad.  I turned to running when my grandparents died, whenever I got into a fight with someone or to alleviate the pressures of finals week. When I run, I can forget my problems or (if I choose to think about them) even work them out in a way that will make sense to me. Lately, a lot of things in my life have not been easy to understand; I’m at a point where running has become more than just exercise and something I love to do. It’s a release from my worries and one of several coping methods that help push my sadness away.

This article discusses the possibility of exercise actually being a better alternative to antidepressants. Personally, I would choose a natural solution over some kind of drug any day. My advice is to run at a pace and distance that is most comfortable for you…if you’re angry, push yourself! Get out that frustration and pretend that your stomping on the face of anyone who made you mad or upset. Listen to sad music ( Johnny Cash really lays it on thick) if you just need to feel the pain and cry a little bit. Once those endorphins kick in, switch to something upbeat and just try to relax. Sometimes I completely clear my mind of all thought and other times I allow myself to analyze whatever obstacle is in front of me.  No matter what, I always finish my run feeling better than before I went.

My friend, Stefani, was sweet enough to cook me a healthy dinner last night. She knows what she’s doing in the kitchen. I may have to make her my wife one day.

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8 miles on the agenda for today. Hope your Wednesday is going well and you get the chance to be active!

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One thought on “Running As Therapy

  1. Sometimes you just need some alone time to think things out in your head. Running forces you to do that because you can not run away from yourself. (haha punny)

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