Remember a while back when I wrote a post called 'The Collective'? (Okay, so I had like three people reading my blog at that point, so a lot of you probably don't.) Well, I basically gushed about how much I love arriving to a full parking lot at the gym (which I pretty much never do) because that just means I'm going to be lucky enough to be part of this huge group of sweaty people, all working their butts off at the same time! WOOHOO!!!
Yeah. I take that back.
Clearly, I have been uber-spoiled in the gym department. I guess I didn't realize how lucky I am to have the times that I go to the gym be the times when almost NO ONE else goes. I will never take that for granted again. This morning, at 10:15 at my gym, it was a sweaty, stinky, humid, crowded mess! And, I was already in a hurry with less than an hour to be there. Of course, all the treadmills were taken. Poo. I got onto an elliptical. Within three minutes a treadmill opened up and I was able to hop on. Yippee! So, I was still able to get a 40 minute run in, during which I was able to pull out two more 8 minute miles and do a little bit of running at an incline (trying to make sure I do more of that).
While I wasn't crazy about the crowded gym this morning, I was happy to run into an old neighbor there. She said she's been reading my blog which totally made my day! It's so fun to hear that people actually enjoy something you create; something so much a part of you. Thanks, Monica!!
As I drove home from the gym, grooving on my endorphins, I saw a guy running on the road wearing one of those flourescent green vests. At first, I thought "that guy is totally crazy!" We were not having the nicest weather here today--right around freezing with a cold mist all day long. Yuck. But, as I got closer to him (he was running toward me), I started thinking "heck yeah! you go on with your bad self!" By the time I was about to pass him, I was so impressed with his endeavor that I gave him a big ol' thumbs up. I'm pretty sure he saw me, although he was pretty well bundled up with not much other than his eyes showing. It struck me at that moment how much joy running has brought to my life.
The joy running has brought me:
- Endorphins - Really, this cannot be overlooked. It's just a physiological reality, and I'm thankful for it.
- Improved body image - It's hard not to feel better about yourself when you feel fit and when you're given the chance to constantly challenge yourself.
- Clarity of thought - Running does a great job of clearing the mind and centering your thoughts.
- Greater sense of connection - I think running can be a wonderfully spiritual experience, giving you opportunities to reflect and give thanks.
What is it about running that brings you the most joy?
And, before I sign off, I wanted to give a big shout out to my Aunt Susan who ran a 5K today at the Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa, Florida! GOOD JOB BY YOU!!