Running as Therapy










“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, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

Sometimes I get upset, frustrated, or stressed. Sometimes it’s worse and can be called depression. There are times in life when I get an anxiety attack or maybe I feel a full blown breakdown coming on (eye twitches and all).

I don’t think there’s any shame in acknowledging this. We all have our troubles. Some people manage better and for some people they are far more severe.

As we search for balance, we all choose different methods. Some people overeat when they are down. I run.

Running is one of the many tools I use to clear my head. If I have had a particularly stressful day at work, I enjoy going for a nice run and letting it all go. Sometimes I think through things during this time. Sometimes I don’t think about it at all. Either way, it helps.

If you have issues and start running, people might say, “What are you running from?” People who would say this have to be non-runners. It isn’t about getting away from anything. It’s about arriving somewhere. Not a physical destination but an emotional, mental, or even spiritual transformation.

If your runner friend is having a hard time, one way to help is to simply run with her/him.

“I’m the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I’m the type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone…

When I’m running I don’t have to talk to anybody and don’t have to listen to anybody. All I need to do is gaze at the scenery passing by. This is a part of my day I can’t do without…

I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void…

All I do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence. And this is a pretty wonderful thing. No matter what anybody else says.”

? Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

For some people, their issues can be severe enough to necessitate the help of a trained medical professional. Of course, running may not work for everyone. I merely say that running is tool that works for me.

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